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December 06, 2016

Italy Votes Massively Against Constitutional "Reform" Criticized for Empowering Government and the Establishment; Many See Tea Leaves for Possible Italian Exit from EU

The referendum was about reforms to Italy's government. I honestly don't know what those reforms were and I'm not sure a non-Italian would care much about them.

Update: Zombie reports the "reforms" were thus:

The "reforms" were basically this:

Currently, the Italian Senate has significant power to guide national policy. The reforms were to remove that power and grant it solely to the president -- essentially giving him dictatorial powers. Since the current president was pro-EU and pro-immigration and a classic "establishment" type, the people didn't want his power increased.

The reforms were opposed by anti-establishment, populist parties who claimed the reforms were badly drafted, would result in gathering more power into government hands, and would empower the ruling elite.

Italy's president, Mario Renzi, had gone all-in in support of the reforms and declared that he would take a failure as a vote of no confidence in his leadership. True to his word, he resigned after his reforms were voted heavily down.

The impulse to reject the reforms (or "reforms") is therefore being taken as a strong hint that Italy's populist moment may result in a vote to leave the EU -- if the nation's mood is anti-establishment and anti-centralization-of-government power, it seems likely the nation's mood is also against the EU.

What was clear, said Stefano Stefanini, who served as a diplomatic adviser to Giorgio Napolitano, a former Italian president, was that the vote was "a test of strength of the anti-Europe and anti-establishment forces in Italy."

Mr. Stefanini said Mr. Renzi's departure could embolden parties feeding on economic frustration, loss of national identity, anger at Brussels and a desire to break with the post-World War II belief that Italy's economic and national security interests were better served within an alliance of liberal democracies. The vote showed that Italy "is reverting to a willingness to go it alone as a nation-state," Mr. Stefanini said.

The primary beneficiary of Mr. Renzi’s defeat is Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, a party that advocates a referendum to determine whether Italy should give up the euro.

See also this gif of the WSJ's front page, particularly the second big headline about the upcoming 2017 elections in Europe, and how many nations are about to have gigantic votes amidst unease about the euro and a revolt against a Brussels-mandated inrush of immigrants.

Wow: An Italian actress who promised to give a blow-jay to those who voted no on the reforms says she's a "Donna di parolas" -- a woman of her word.

She's announced tour dates of the cities she'll be visiting and giving pompas (blowjobs) to those who promised to vote "No."

BTW, I never mentioned this before, but I promised to vote No on the Italian referendum too. It may have slipped your minds, but I'm sure now you remember me making that promise and will back me up on this in, say, an Italian court, if it comes to that.

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posted by Ace at 01:08 PM

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