Italy’s Vote : the impact of the Italian elections on the country and the EU

portriat_tobias_abseWhen Italy, second only to Greece in the Eurozone for its debt ratio, saw the interest rates of its 10 year bonds increasing beyond 7% on 9th November 2011 (“Black Wednesday”), the EU, ECB and IMF Troika feared Euro currency would collapse should a country with such a large GDP default. Subsequently, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign. Whilst new elections were being scheduled, the neoliberal former European Commissioner Mario Monti was appointed interim Prime Minister. Unsurprisingly, his non-elected “Technical Government” has imposed drastic austerity measures and labour reforms on the country. At last, the Italian people, whose level of mistrust towards its political elite is amongst the highest in Europe, have been invited to participate in new general elections on 24th-25th February 2013. Ten days after these elections take place, Dr Toby Abse will explore their outcome and the likely implications for the Italian people and the rest of Europe, as well as the prospects for a real political alternative in the Peninsula. A lecturer in Modern European History at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Abse focuses his research on Italy and has written extensively on the country’s recent politics.