THE European Union is facing a crunch referendum in Italy which experts have warned could “shock” the troubled bloc to its core.
By Laura Mowat
Could Renzi suffer the same fate as Cameron did with Brexit?
The Wall Street Journal has said that the outcome of the October referendum on constitutional reforms is “more important than Brexit”, with the future of pro-Brussels PM Matteo Renzi riding on the result.
Other international news organisation have suggested that Italy could become the weak link of European growth and the possible centre of a new political shock ready to weaken the EU.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais called Italy “the new sick patient of Europe that could drag the continent back into crisis”.
The Italian referendum is due to be held in August
Like Brexit, the decision to hold the referendum in Italy could destroy the man who suggested it – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
The main proposal of the referendum would be to reform the senate to make it more efficient, but there are concerns it could be used by a fed up Italian electorate to voice their frustrations with Brussels.
Mr Renzi has said that he will resign if the vote goes against him, with the eurosceptic Five Star movement riding high in the polls and ready to pounce at a snap General Election.
There are concerns that the referendum could weaken the EU even further
The referendum is a last attempt to address Italy’s democratic problems through constitutional change.
The New York Times has given four outcome possibilities, three of which are negative for the country.
Italy is slowing down the growth of the eurozone as the youth employment of the country has reached 36.5 per cent against a European average of 20.8 per cent.
The reforms would make the Italian Parliament more efficient
The Economist had a front cover in July where the publication said that Italy has the “fourth economy of Europe and has a high public debt, one of the highest unemployment rates after Greece and an economy in anger”.
The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has said that monetary policy alone is not enough to save Italy, a budget package to revive the sick economy with more public investment is needed for Renzi to win the autumn referendum.
There are concerns that many Italian voters will understand to the complicated substance of the reforms and could use it as an opportunity to vent their frustrations against the political establishment.
The Financial Times has warned that the Italians will vote against the increasingly unpopular Government.