23:59 GMT01 October 2020
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    As Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s attempt to amend the constitution ended in a spectacular failure, it remains unclear whether his reform would’ve brought the changes he wanted even if the voters supported him.

    Addressing the nation Mr. Renzi said that he takes full responsibility for the defeat. "When you lose you cannot pretend that nothing has happened and go to bed and sleep. My government ends here today," Renzi said, adding that tomorrow he would meet with President Sergio Mattarella and tender his resignation.

    Federico Petroni, Contributing Editor at Limes Magazine and Co-founder of iMerica website, told Radio Sputnik that the fact that Renzi’s proposed reform failed is hardly a surprise.

    "The constitutional reform was a very weak one. It was presented as the main leverage of change but in fact it was a result of a delusional compromise. A lot of moderates and a lot of prime minister’s supporters were not convinced at all of the many changes proposed. I was among them," he said.

    Petroni pointed out that while he actually voted ‘yes’ during the referendum, he had serious misgivings about the new composition of the Senate "which would’ve selected its members among the regional parliaments" which, according to him, "are not suited at all to represent the country."

    "Mr. Renzi lost basically because of his stubbornness in binding his political future to the referendum. It is simply inconceivable that after a thousand days in power in Western democracy a political leader would win a referendum simply by saying 'this is a referendum on me!'" he explained.

    At this point, he added, it appears that the Five Star Movement, which is currently pushing for a non-binding referendum on Italy’s membership in Euro zone, appears to be the biggest winner in this situation.

    "They (the Five Star Movement) are the main winners because they have the biggest consensus behind them. In my opinion, if we were to vote today the Five Stars would win the election," he said.

    However, even if the Five Star Movement were to win the election, it "would have big trouble in passing through the non-binding referendum," because, according to Petroni, in Italy the ruling parties have to seek compromise and to negotiate with other factions, thus corrupting their "puritan message" and thus undermining the consensus among their supporters.

    Nevertheless, even a non-binding vote on the country’s membership in the EU and on the use of the single European currency means that the future of the euro looks pretty bleak due to the fact that Italy is "simply too big to fail," but the "future of instability" is not necessarily a "terrible scenario," he remarked.

    "In my opinion we can start all over again. We can start by simply proposing a better Europe; we can propose a better functioning of the single currency area. I’m not saying that in the future there won’t be any European Union, I think that maybe there will be a different one," Petroni surmised.


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    future, resignation, results, referendum, constitution, Italy Constitutional Referendum, Five Star Movement (M5S), Matteo Renzi, Italy
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