Italian politics has entered a state of freefall after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s proposed constitutional reforms were rejected by voters in a referendum by a significant margin.
Renzi whose actions turned the referendum into a plebiscite on his leadership, has resigned.
Comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, leader of the populist 5 Star Movement and dubbed as Italy’s Donald Trump, voted ‘No’ to the reforms. Grillo, whose party is currently the largest opposition party (beaten into the role of Opposition by Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘Centre-right coalition’) is expected to make massive gains in the struggling Mediterranean state if Renzi’s resignation causes another General Election.
The reforms would have seen the Senate stripped of powers, with many given back to the Chamber of Deputies (the Italian lower house).
To the European Union, this is the biggest issue that it’s faced – bigger than Brexit. The reforms proposed were meant to grant Italy’s Government the power to make economic reforms to stimulate growth. Instead, it throws the European Central Bank into crisis, and has the potential to cause Italy to leave the Eurozone and tear one of the pillars of European integration apart.