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15 Reasons Why Everyone Should Care About The Italian Election That Starts Tomorrow
Morgan Stanley bills this weekend’s Italian elections as a “crucial risk event.”
The euro crisis front has been relatively quiet since ECB President Mario Draghi gave his famous “whatever it takes to save the euro” speech in July, and many analysts have been waiting for this weekend for months.
Mario Monti, an unelected technocrat, has been relatively successful in pushing through economic reforms since assuming office in late 2011, but those reforms have driven the country deeper into recession, and record high unemployment shows how Italians are suffering.
As a result, former comedian Beppe Grillo and his newly-formed political party, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, have seen a surge in interest.
As the elections draw nearer, the position of establishment political parties heading into the polls appears to be weakening.
The fear is that reforms could be hampered, causing Italian bond yields to rise again, causing the European chaos to reignite. Furthermore, the election shows what happens when the goals of the elites goes up against the economic situation of the voters.
With government debt topping 127 percent of GDP, Italy is the most indebted country in the euro zone after Greece
Its economy is in a prolonged recession – one that has recently intensified
Last week, Italy released fourth-quarter 2012 GDP figures. The economy contracted 2.7 percent from the previous year in the Q4.
The data marked an acceleration in the pace of economic contraction from Q3, when GDP fell 2.4 percent year on year.
Economists were expecting the numbers to get slightly better, not worse – they had predicted a 2.2 percent decline year on year in Q4.
The unemployment rate, at 11.2 percent, is at a record high