Austria voted for self-annihilation, but Italy voted for self-preservation. We won one, we lost one.
Here’s the good news out of Italy.
Excerpt from Fox News
ROME – Italian voters dealt Premier Matteo Renzi a stinging defeat on his reforms referendum, triggering his resignation announcement and galvanizing the populist, opposition 5-Star Movement’s determination to gain national power soon.
“I lost, and the post that gets eliminated is mine,” Renzi said early Monday about an hour after the polls closed. “The government’s experience is over, and in the afternoon I’ll go to the Quirinal Hill to hand in my resignation” to President Sergio Mattarella.
Besides the “anti-establishment” 5-Stars, the outcome energized another “anti” party, the anti-immigrant Northern League, an ally of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a candidate in France’s presidential race.
In voting No, Italians also delivered a rebuke to Italy’s industrialists, banks and other establishment institutions, which had staunchly backed the referendum. The anti-reform victory, which could spook investors, comes just as the government had made some inroads in cutting the staggering rate of youth employment and while Italy’s banks have urgent need for recapitalization.
During the campaign, the risk of political instability in Italy, Europe’s fourth-largest economy, triggered market reaction, with bank stocks sinking and borrowing costs on sovereign debt rising.
But some analysts predicted the political crisis sparked by Renzi’s exit would be short-lived, as politicians focus on lining up support for a new electoral law they view as boosting their parties’ chances for whenever elections are called.
Wolfango Piccoli, a London-based analyst and co-president at Teneo Intelligence, said the main risk of Renzi’s “devastating defeat” will lie in the medium term.
That could see “a prolonged muddle-through period, the emergence of an ineffective patched-up coalition government in the post-election phase and continuously poor economic performance,” Piccoli said in an emailed comment.
The 5-Star Movement, led by anti-euro comic Beppe Grillo, spearheaded the No camp on the constitutional reforms, a package aimed at updating Italy’s post-war Constitution that Renzi had depicted as vital to modernizing Italy and reviving its economy.
Characteristically confident — detractors say arrogant — Renzi, 41, and Italy’s youngest premier, had bet his political future — or at least his current premiership — on a Yes vote win, and campaigned hard for a victory in recent weeks to confound opinion polls indicating that it would likely go down to defeat.
With votes counted from nearly all the polling stations in Sunday’s referendum, the No’s were leading Yes votes by a 6-to-4 margin, Interior Ministry data indicated. The turnout of 67 percent was especially high for a referendum, and more in line for a vote for Parliament.
Renzi had been hoping to beat off the rising populist forces that have gained traction across Europe, as well as with the U.S. presidential victory last month by billionaire political outsider Donald Trump.
Earlier on Sunday, in Austria’s presidential runoff, left-leaning candidate Alexander Van der Bellen prevailed over a right-wing populist.