Trump’s tri­umph puts Italy’s Renzi in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion Anti-estab­lish­ment 5-Star Move­ment ahead in polls

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Don­ald Trump’s un­ex­pected vic­tory in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion is likely to make it even harder for Italian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi to win a cru­cial ref­er­en­dum on con­sti­tu­tional re­form set for De­cem­ber. Renzi was one of the few world lead­ers to pub­licly en­dorse Hil­lary Clin­ton and Trump’s tri­umph has not only put the Italian premier in a dif­fi­cult diplomatic po­si­tion, it has also un­der­lined the rise of anti-elite sen­ti­ment around the world.

“This fac­tor is weigh­ing against Renzi be­cause at the mo­ment for many Ital­ians he rep­re­sents the estab­lish­ment,” said Roberto D’Alimonte, pol­i­tics pro­fes­sor at Luiss Univer­sity in Rome. Renzi has said he will re­sign if he loses next month’s bal­lot and was al­ready fac­ing fierce head­winds, with all op­po­si­tion par­ties pit­ted against him and al­most ev­ery opin­ion poll over the past two months show­ing the ‘No’ camp ahead. How­ever, a large num­ber of Ital­ians re­main un­de­cided, help­ing to fuel govern­ment con­fi­dence that the ‘Yes’ vote will even­tu­ally win and stave off a re­newed bout of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty that is feared by the fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

“The Trump win does show that pop­ulism con­tin­ues in 2016 and sug­gests a ‘no’ vote in the Italian ref­er­en­dum could be stronger than we as­sumed,” David Zahn, the head of Euro­pean fixed in­come at US fund man­ager Franklin Tem­ple­ton, said. The spread be­tween Italian and Ger­man 10-year bench­mark bonds was up 7.8 ba­sis points at 1200 GMT at 154.05, the high­est level since June when the closely watched gap jumped in the wake of Bri­tain’s vote to leave the Euro­pean Union. The con­sti­tu­tional re­form pro­poses dras­ti­cally curb­ing the role of the up­per house Se­nate, a move that Renzi says will sim­plify de­ci­sion-mak­ing and en­sure sta­ble govern­ment. Op­po­nents say it will make the leg­isla­tive process more com­pli­cated and re­duce checks and bal­ances.

We are the bar­bar­ians!

Italy’s anti-estab­lish­ment 5-Star Move­ment cur­rently heads the opin­ion polls and its founder, Beppe Grillo, hailed Trump’s vic­tory, see­ing it as a vin­di­ca­tion of his own mav­er­ick

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