New elections are coming up but a hung parliament is likely.
The Wall Street Journal reports Italy’s President Calls National Elections as Country Grapples With Economic Pain.
Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament Thursday and called elections for early March, a vote that will highlight the economic and political problems still stalking Europe and the country’s role as the weakest flank in the currency union.
The vote—the latest in a series of momentous elections in Europe—will be in line with the overwhelming trends of 2017, featuring a fractured electorate, continued pressure from populist movements and predictions of a struggle to form a cohesive government.
Its economy is 6% smaller than at the start of 2008, making it the only G-7 economy not to have returned to its pre-crisis size.
In a speech a decade ago as head of Italy’s industry association, Luca di Montezemolo, former chairman of Fiat SpA, listed 10 urgent reforms Italian businesses wanted from the government, including a leaner bureaucracy and lower taxes. “I could give that same speech today,” he said in an interview.
The downturn has left deep scars in Italy’s social fabric. More than 4.7 million Italians live in absolute poverty, nearly double the number a decade ago, according to Italian statistical agency Istat.
With youth unemployment at 35%, an entire generation of young people remains jobless or subsists on poorly paid, short-term contracts. Even as the brain drain that has afflicted much of southern Europe begins to ebb, thousands of Italian university graduates continue to emigrate each year.
With no group likely to reach a majority, a hung parliament is highly probable. Lorenzo Codogno, former director general of the Italian Treasury Ministry, assigns a 75% probability to such an outcome.







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