Italy election result calms market, but worries remain

Angelo Anderson
March 6, 2018

Even though Mattarella can choose someone to form a government, M5S has "more than a third of the seats in both houses" which means the party can "block any government it opposed". "The euro was, is and remains a mistake", he said, but added that a referendum over Italy's continued participation in the single currency was "unthinkable".

The 5-Star Movement, founded by an Italian comedian just nine years ago as an online-driven grassroots revolt against Italy's political establishment, was the biggest victor in Sunday's election, capturing about one-third of the vote.

The 5-Star Movement, led by 31-year-old Di Maio, has been particularly successful at tapping into the disaffection in the underdeveloped south and has promised a monthly universal wage of up to 780 euros ($960) for the poor.

The first results show that no party or coalition got enough votes to form a government on its own.

"We are the absolute winners", said Di Maio, announcing the beginning of a "third republic, the republic of the Italian citizens". "We represent the whole boot, from Val D'aosta to Sicily".

"I voted Communist and I was disappointed, I voted for PD for many years, and now I'm fed up with them", said pensioner Francesco.

He called the vote "post-ideological".

However, sentiment towards immigrants is hardening on both the right and the left.

"I see this as a vote for the future", Salvini told supporters on Monday.

Salvini also cited his party's proposals to overturn pension reforms, introduce a flat tax and cut bureaucracy.

Almost half of all seats were won by right-wing MPs in a result that saw the two centrist parties which have dominated Italian politics for years pushed out by populist and Eurosceptic groups.

But others said it was the economy that could very well keep Italy in line, as was the case in 2011 when longtime premier Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign after the financial markets turned on him. However, 2016 Italian census reported over 420,000 Moroccans living in Italy, regardless of citizenship or residency. Italians have shown frustration over the government's handling of the hundreds of thousands of migrants from Libya since 2013.

However, the political uncertainty did not immediately provoke major market jitters: The main index on the Milan stock exchange ended Monday's trade down by 0.42%. As such, it's likely that Italy will now have a hung parliament.

Italy has been hit by a historic political natural disaster.

"We have the right and the duty to govern over the coming years".

The League surpassed its coalition partner, the establishment Forza Italia party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. At the same time, a conservative alliance between the League, a hardline anti-Europe, anti-immigrant party, and center-right party Forza Italia collected 37 percent, the latter party running under the slogan "Stop the Invasion" in reference to people migrating to Europe via Italy's Mediterranean coast.

For now, Renzi excluded the possibility of the Democrats joining any government led by the League or the Five Star Movement.

Renzi resigned on Monday as leader of the PD after the election defeat.

This would allow time to set up a temporary government to reform the electoral law and organise new elections.

5-Star deputy Alessandro Di Battista described the results as a "triumph", adding: "This is a real moment of glory".

"The European Union is having a bad evening", French far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted.

Macron didn't immediately comment on the Italian result. At some point, an increasingly mainstream Five Star and the center-left Democratic Party may warm up to each other. "If a progressive, civic-minded force doesn't take the lead, you will manufacture monsters".

By contrast, Berlusconi and his far-right, populist allies were expected to win the majority of seats in the wealthier north, with the centre-left squeezed into a narrow stretch of territory across central Italy, including Tuscany.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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