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    'Going to Be a Mess': Professor Explains What Future Holds for Italian Gov't

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    Italy’s two anti-establishment parties, the Five Star Movement and the League, are reportedly drafting a program for a new government. Italy has been stuck in political limbo since an inconclusive March 4 election which resulted in a hung parliament. Sputnik discussed this with Luigi Marco Bassani, professor of politics at Milan University.

    Sputnik: Not so long ago you spoke with my colleague about Italy's recent general election, in that interview you said that some parties made abstract promises, and, indeed, some of the campaign promises made by Brothers of Italy and the Five Star Movement that gained the largest share of votes sound too good to be true, why do you think Italian voters fell for these unrealistic promises?

    Luigi Marco Bassani: I wouldn't blame it on the Italian voters actually, the thing is, there is the myth of the rational voter has been destroyed in the relevant literature from San Francisco to Moscow, to anywhere, voters are not rational otherwise they wouldn't vote, they just fall for very clear and simple messages, and the messages during the election campaign in February and March, the only thing that the parties were talking about were just no cuts in spending, no raises in taxes, nothing was going on, they were not addressing the real problems of the country. As I said it is clearly the national debt of the country that is totally out of control, it's been kept leashed because of [European Central Bank President] Draghi who has just given money for nothing at this point, and so the banks are buying the Italian bonds, but in a year or so the spread with the German bond will go up to 5-7 percent, we don't know how much. So this is a big problem not a single party addressed, so it was really all sorts of promises, and given the total collapse of the Democratic party, it caused a stalemate, if it was a real three-party system at this point Italy could have had a government, but not with the collapse of the Democratic party, so there will definitely be a new vote.

    Sputnik: So you think the neutral caretaker government won't last long?

    Luigi Marco Bassani: It shouldn't last more than six months, so what [Italian President Sergio] Mattarella is supposedly worried about is the fact that the VAT will go up to 25 percent, the general tax and consumption, but if he puts a government there it will raise tax all across the board to keep it to 24 percent, so I don't see a point of doing that. Of course the electorate and the general public might not be too aware of that, but actually there are two ideas now on the table: one is to have a general election at the end of July, imagine that, people that especially on a Sunday would go on the beach at the end of July, so the turnout will drop dramatically, and the other thing is there will be like a neutralized government, supposedly, neutral power, this is like the sort of oxymoron that was used by Mattarella, so the thing is they would use that as a transition government to the election that will be held in December, but with the same electoral law, so it's pretty much going to be a mess, it could be a Weimarian spiral that Italy is going to face, but not so many worries as there's no Hitler around.

    For more information listen to this edition of Weekend Special with Luigi Marco Bassani.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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