ITALY EXPERIENCES A POPULIST SURGE
The election results of Italy is one more sign of popular resentments-against conventional politicians. It is also a sign of resentment against the forces of globalization and immigration. It is not just the success of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). Another party has surpassed expectation is the far right League. The center-left coalition has been able to manage only 22%. They look set to be the third-largest group of the parliament behind the right-wing bloc and M5S. So, in short, it means that Italy experiences a populist surge.
The result is ready to make for a complex, unpredictable and long coalition negotiation. It is likely to last all the way to spring. And the stable government will rely on the maverick M5S. Prolonging the upheaval and uncertainty can jeopardize the gradual recovery of Italy(growth was 1.5% in 2017). This will increase the borrowing costs. Italians don’t seem to feel that times are getting better even with the four years of GDP growth. There is still about 11% unemployed with the youth unemployment being around 32%. So Italy experiences a populist surge is receiving a mixed reaction.
The populist parties were ready with an audience for their message. They have made accusations against Brussels for making reforms in Italy which makes hiring and firing easy. Both M5S and the League have cast doubt on Italy’s membership within the Eurozone. However, they have taken a softer approach in recent times. They also expressed their dislike for Europe’s major trade agreements with Japan and Canada.
There has been a guaranteed minimum income for the poor people from the Five Star Movement. Italy’s National Statistics Institute reports that in last autumn, top 20% Italians have enjoyed the fruits of recent growth. But the bottom 30% have reportedly experienced “poverty and social exclusion”. The percentage of Italians leading a life in poverty rose to 20.6% in 2016.