Italians Vote Sunday for New Parliament, With Populism Taking Front Seat

Today in Italian politics The campaign goes down the toilet literally

It is worth noting that Italy's political environment has always been rather chaotic, so a messy election is not going to necessarily create a big reaction in the markets. It imagined the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini returning to the Italy of 2018, and its timing was flawless. "Watching what is happening today in our country, I am convinced that if Mussolini came back he would win the election". It's only Silvio Berlusconi again.

The media mogul, who is barred from public office until 2019 following a tax fraud conviction, has promised to expel 600,000 immigrants from Italy and to introduce a 23 percent flat tax, in a country where the tax burden is over 40 percent for both individuals and businesses.

The 81-year-old is not running for prime minister on Sunday. The last polls, before Italy's pre-election polling black-out kicked-in, put them on around 22%. "Five Star are flying", Fitto replies.

"It is time to embrace change, because there is no longer any reason to be afraid of it", Di Maio said, pledging to exclude from his government team "the same faces you have seen for 20 years".

Voters have a choice between a myriad of factions, including a volatile right-wing coalition, maverick populists and a flagging centre-left bloc.

Secretary of "Partito Democratico" (Democratic Party) and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If we look at candidates' activity on average, in fact, it turns out that the League features the most prolific candidates - every candidate writes on average 4.7 tweets per day - followed closely by Forza Italia (4.1), Free and Equal (3.9) and 5 Star (3.1). To protect against any political exposition in Italy look towards large cap Italian stocks or those with a strong global reach, for example oil giant ENI.

If opinion polls prove accurate, voters will not reward any one party or coalition with enough votes to yield the parliamentary majority needed to sustain a viable government. So who would it be?


And with an outright victor of the election a long-shot, the likely result is a coalition of left-leaning or right-leaning parties.

The election has one gondolier navigating politics.

Average family incomes, which fell dramatically after the 2008 financial crisis, have still not recovered to the 2007 level.

"At most, this marriage of convenience (between the rival coalitions of centre right and centre-left parties) will provide some stability, but it is unlikely to help push medium term GDP growth beyond 1% and solve Italy's productivity woes", the researchers said.

More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, anti-establishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years.

Since Trump's election in November 2016, three Western European countries - the Netherlands, France and Germany - have had elections in which nationalist, anti-immigrant parties that are hostile to the European Union, or at least to the euro common currency, have done better than ever before, but have not won power.

"They are doing really well, really well", Giorgia Meloni, head of Brothers of Italy, told her allies at a joint rally in a private conversation that was picked up by an open microphone.

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