EU Economics

Save us Angela! Desperate EU to call on Merkel to help save Italy’s ‘political centre’

GERMAN leader Angela Merkel will be called upon to save the European Union by helping Italy restore its political centre in the wake of the country’s referendum shock, according to a former diplomat.

Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, EU flagsGETTY
German Chancellor Angela Merkel/ outgoing Italian PM Matteo Renzi/EU flags

Stefano Stefanini said while the rest of Europe was concerned about Italy and the future of the euro, Italians were more anxious about their next government after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stuck to his word and resigned after losing his constitutional reform vote.

The result leaves EU leaders bracing themselves for yet more turmoil at the end of a year that has seen Brexit, an increasingly shaky eurozone economy, growing anti-Brussels sentiment and a migrant crisis which has brought misery to many member states.

And nations will be looking to Mrs Merkel, who herself faces difficult national elections in 2017, to restore some balance to a bloc which appears to be teetering on the brink.

Matteo Renzi is standing down after losing a referendum on constitutional reform

In his column in La Stampa, Mr Stefanini said: “While Europe is concerned about Italy this morning, Italy is anxious about the post-Renzi government, not the euro.

“In the medium term, Italy now joins France at the top of the list of 2017 electoral worries.

“That doesn’t leave Angela Merkel in the clear: she’ll be called upon to help save the EU by helping to save Italy’s political centre.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be asked to help hold the EU together

Mr Renzi’s resignation after two and a half years in office is another heavy blow to Brussels which is losing a progressive, pro-European leader and has already sent tremors throughout the markets.

The euro fell to 20-month lows against the dollar, with markets worried that instability in the eurozone’s third largest economy could reignite a dormant financial crisis and deal a hammer blow to Italy’s fragile banking sector.

The risk to stability is severe enough to have the European Central Bank preparing to step in if needed.

Italian protestors celebrate in Rome after victory for the No campaign

Mr Renzi will formally stand down this morning after visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella who will then have to embark on a round of consultations with party leaders before naming a new prime minister – Italy’s fifth in as many years – who will be tasked with drawing up a new electoral law.

Opinion polls show Mr Renzi’s Democratic Party running neck-and-neck with the 5-Star, which has called for a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro currency.

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Unfortunately Pader the majority of the UK population have no idea how much we could be in debt to the EU. The UK’s financial commitments to EU institutions amounts to 1.25 trillion euros. On top of that the EU could could demand “emergency funding” of an “unlimited amount”. See Bob Lyddons report published by the Bruges Group. In addition, the EU produced a report in 2005 which examined the pension liabilites for the next generation of EU citizens of just 18 EU countries. The UK had the lowest liability. The other 17 countries liabilities added up to 30 trillion euros,… Read more »

Jennifer Lindley
Jennifer Lindley

Indeed Peter, unfortunately, you are correct. Personally, I do not see how Merkel or anyone else can save the EU…I am delighted to say! However, just what point there is in throwing even more of taxpayer’s money into this totally bottomless pit.

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