Daily Management Review

Italy’s Foreign Minister says the Country not Heading for Catastrophe


11/28/2016




Italy’s Foreign Minister says the Country not Heading for Catastrophe
Italy's foreign affairs minister has told CNBC in an exclusive interview that concerns that Italy is headed for catastrophe in the case of a destabilizing outcome from the referendum to be held Sunday are misplaced.
 
Increasing market fears of a potential default are only relevant to the Italy of 2011, not the country today, according to Paolo Gentiloni.
 
"We had a completely different economic and financial environment in Italy at this time," he said.
 
Decision on whether to accept a package of constitutional reforms proposed by the country's center-left Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, is the subject of the vote that Italians are being asked to give on December 4.
 
Europe would avoid any fallout even if the result forces Renzi's resignation, v, even though the prime minister has previously stated that he would resign if the reforms are rejected.
 
"In any case we will have a weaker and more unstable country, but not a threat for the European economy," he affirmed.
 
There are rising fears that a period of uncertainty following a governmental resignation would mean valuable time lost in finding solutions for the country's weighty and perilous non-performing loan issues and the comments from the foreign affairs minister come despite accumulating jitters among investors over the stability of Italy's 4 trillion euro ($4.3 trillion) banking system.
 
However, claiming that the measures to be voted upon represent the culmination of 30 years of discussion, the minister does not expect Italians to reject the proposals.
 
According to Gentiloni, "I think that the Italian majority - maybe it will be a thin margin - but it will be a majority. They will not lose this opportunity."
 
"It's the first time that those things discussed for 30 years were decided by the parliament and the reform now has to be confirmed by a referendum," he explained.
  
Gentiloni played down the threat from Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, led by comedian Beppe Grillo against a background of sharply rising sympathy for populist platforms in several key Western economies during 2016.
 
There is no viable political option represented by a "no" vote since, those advocating turning down the proposals include both this movement – considered to be on the far-left – and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's far-right group, according to Gentiloni.
 
"Obviously if the 'no' prevail, the 'no' is not a political alternative because the 'no' is Berlusconi and the Five Star Movement together. The extreme left and the extreme right together," he clarified.
 
Should a follow-up election reveal the country's preference to be led by Grillo's faction, his government would not stand in the way, says Gentiloni even while adding that there is "no high probability at all" of the Five Star Movement forming a government in the wake of the referendum.
 
"But in the case they win, they win. This is democracy," he said.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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