Italy’s now familiar problem

Today, Corriere della Sera and other major newspapers in Italy and Europe reported on the devastating effect of the political crisis in the peninsula coupled with deep economic uncertainty. While politics have rarely surprised anyone during times of crisis, the Italian economic trouble and the reluctance to find an immediate solution is quite scary for the European politics.

EU requested a 3.4 billion budgetary correction that might seem like a lot of money. Well, technically, that’s a lot of money, but when compared to the size of the GDP, it accounts for 0.4%. So why this inability to act?

Some might argue that the Brussels / Rome divide is not something new. We’ve seen the reluctance of other governments, prominently the Greek one, to submit to EU’s watchful eye. However, the difference is that the sum to be corrected is rather incomparable to the demands the EU had for Greece.

So how can we read this? First, this could signal a deeper fissure between the South and the Brussels that could be translated into anti-European parties capturing the power in Italy. Second, this fissure might be shared with other countries in Europe, particularly France.

While the far-right is credited to have 0 chances to seize the power in the upcoming elections, we shouldn’t rule out all the other outcomes, as the last year showed us. The Italian divide could be just one of the premonitory signs.