Italy is bracing for Referendum

But any parallels for the now infamous #Brexit is just a coincidence. Italians will decide the fate of constitutional reform. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants to simplify passage of laws and accelerate the entire parliamentary process. And that’s why the question is headed to referendum.

But Italian analysts say the October vote could turn into a referendum on the Italian government itself — and could prove as much of a boomerang for Renzi, who has been prime minister for 2 1/2 years. Complicating matters further are Italy’s banking problems. Italy’s banks are burdened by $400 billion in bad loans, one-third the eurozone total. These problems predate the arrival of Renzi’s center-left government, but they have become a politically explosive issue after thousands of small depositors were wiped out at four regional banks over the last year and several savers who lost all their money committed suicide.

Many analysts warn that with its shaky banking system, lackluster growth, high unemployment and a growing wave of anti-establishment public sentiment, Italy is on the brink of a major crisis. The trigger could be Renzi’s constitutional reforms referendum, National Public Radio concludes.

Current opinion polls are suggesting that reform support is somewhat higher than denial, but the data is marginally reliable. The Referendum itself is scheduled for October.

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