The Italian ‘no’ and France’s Fillon to reshape Europe; Paris moves closer to Berlin

Questions and answers during the national briefing by Matteo Remzi, Prime Minister of Italy, following the European Council on 21 October 2016 in Brussels. European Council-Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Services, snapshot from a video. Location: Brussels, Belgium.

Questions and answers during the national briefing by Matteo Remzi, Prime Minister of Italy, following the European Council on 21 October 2016 in Brussels. European Council-Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Services, snapshot from a video. Location: Brussels, Belgium.

Yesterday, the Italians chose to rebuff Prime Minister Matteo Renzi by voting ‘no’ in the referendum he proclaimed, supposed to introduce certain amendments to the country’s constitution. Officially, the question is whether to institute a more responsive and effective legislative system in the customarily politically unstable Italy. The three opposition parties strongly supported the ‘no’ option. In reality, the vote turned out at least partly, to be an in-out the EU contest, because all the three parties are also strong advocates of a possible Italexit from the EU club.

With the anti-establishment and rebellious state of mind of voters all over the western world, the Italians couldn’t say ‘yes’, even to the modernization of their peculiar legislative system, made up by two equally dominant chambers, the Senate (315 members) and the Deputies (630 members). In reality no matter what the question was, the Italians would have turned out a ‘no’ result. However, there were also some convincing arguments for the ‘no’ camp.

What Renzi wanted

The changes Renzi wanted to bring about would have offered the government the opportunity to pass laws much more easily than under the present checks and controls of the two equally empowered legislative bodies. On top of that, under Renzi’s constitutional change, the regional authorities would have lost a large part of their powers. In total, the new system would have empowered the majority in the lower house to bring about far fetching changes in governance and the political system. The ‘no’ advocates pointed out that exactly for this reason the passing of laws must be time consuming, needing a wider consent.

Speaking of Italexit, no political formation in the country is currently a strong proponent of Italy’s position in the European Union. Even Matteo Renzi and his Democratic Party have lately adopted a defiant strategy towards Brussels. He has gone as far as threatening to block the 2017 EU Budget, if Italy is not allowed to go beyond the budgetary spending limit of 3% of GDP. The devastating earthquakes that shook central Italy during the past few months and the government investments needed to repair the extensive damages is a solid argument for excess public spending.

The diverging French option

While Italy, both before and after the referendum is in a state of agitation against fiscal austerity and the tough economic rules of the EU, last week neighboring France has chosen quite the opposite direction. The French are now set to elect a Thatcherite politician in next spring’s Presidential election. Ex Prime Minister Francois Fillon, is the conservative winner of the primary election of Sunday 27 November for the leadership of the French center-right party, The Republicans (Les Républicains). Having secured his party’s confirmation, he will contest and very probably win the election for the Presidency of France, planned to take place next spring. The first round will be held on 23 April and if no candidate wins an outright majority the second round will be held on 7 May with the first two candidates.

Despite his well known admiration for Margaret Thatcher’s guiding principles, Fillion is expected, for very good reasons, to win the 2017 election and become the next President of France. His adversary in the second round will very probably be Marine Le Pen, head of the xenophobic, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic National Front. Fillion has swiftly managed to rally France’s entire center-right camp behind him, while, according to polls, whoever leads the Socialist Party ticket is bound to emerge as a far away third after Fillion and Marin Le Pen.

Undoubtedly then, in the second round, both conservative and socialist voters plus the minor left parties will for sure support Fillion to block Le Pen’s way. This has happened again in the past, when conservative Jacques Chirac confronted Marine’s father, the semi-fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round of the Presidential election of 2002. Chirac won 82,21 % of the vote.

So, Thatcherite Fillion will very probably win the spring election, despite the prevailing climate in Italy and elsewhere in the EU, favoring more public spending and increased government budget deficits. Fillion, a social conservative free-marketeer, promises the opposite. He emphasizes that he will cut down public expenses by €100 billion and will reduce public sector employment by 500,000 in his five year term. He also says that the weekly work schedule for public employees will return to the old 39 hours instead of 35 now. Overall though, Fillion appears to be the less controversial and a more systemic choice that voters have made in a western country so far this year.

In conclusion, France under Fillion is to follow an economic strategy favoring austerity, the opposite than during the five years under the incumbent President Francois Hollande. This prospect will surely estrange France from Italy and strengthen the German camp in the EU, favoring austere public finance and tougher social and labor rules.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Europe provides financial support to African countries while Turkey denies to change terrorism laws jeopardising the EU deal

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Stripe gives payments leg-up to startups in emerging markets

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

Merkel’s triumph will make Berlin more unbending

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

Alexis Tsipras ready to test Eurozone’s political sturdiness; Up to what point?

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

Mario Draghi didn’t do it but Kim Jong-un did

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

Alexandre in Czech Republic

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

The European Commission cuts roaming charges. But “it’s not enough”…

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

Not much of a help the new EU Directive on pensions

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

IFMSA and IPSF on the Health of Migrants and Refugees

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

Let’s Learn

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Landmark EU Parliament – ECB agreement on bank supervision

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

Breaking news on European Youth Employment: European Youth Forum Guide tackles poor quality internships!

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

A Year in China

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

EU threatens Japan to suspend FTA negotiations if…

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

ECOFIN: Protecting bankers and tax-evaders

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

Why France, Italy and the US press Germany to accept a cheaper euro and pay for Greece

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s