Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Italy To Leave EU As European Project Collapses

Published on December 5, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Italy looks set to leave the European Union

Yournewswire

Italy looks set to be next in line to leave the EU as the European project spectacularly collapses following the UK’s Brexit vote in June 2016. 

Italians vote on Sunday in a major referendum that will have huge consequences for their future in Europe.

Politicians have warned that an Italian exit from the EU will spark a huge banking crisis and will result in the Italian Prime Minister resigning.

CNN reports:

Italians are being asked to vote on a sweeping series of constitutional reforms championed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He says the changes are vital to end political gridlock and revive Italy’s stagnant economy, and has pledged to resign if voters reject them.

The immediate risk stems from the country’s troubled banks, which are saddled with about €360 billion ($383 billion) in non-performing loans, roughly a third of the eurozone total. The sector is already in distress, but the prospect of a political crisis, market turmoil and recession would make matters worse.

“Many plausible scenarios point to a narrowing of options for the banks in distress, and broadly bad news should ‘no’ prevail — but the question is, how bad?” asked Luca Raffellini of Frost & Sullivan.

Monte dei Paschi (BMDPF) — the world’s oldest operating bank — is likely to serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The bank is racing to raise new funds, and its plan could be upended by a sudden change in government.

Its stock has lost 86% so far this year, and other heavyweights such as Unicredit (UNCFF) have fared little better.

Italian politics would be plunged into disarray by a “no” vote on the constitutional reforms. The chief beneficiaries would likely be populist parties that have capitalized on anger over an economy that’s been stuck in neutral for the past decade. (Data published Thursday showed GDP ticked up a bit but still grew by just 1% in the third quarter.)

Here’s where the politics gets really tricky to predict: If Renzi follows through on his pledge to resign, it is possible — but not a foregone conclusion — that early elections could be triggered.

Read More HERE

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