Sunday, December 4, 2016

Watching Italy

Today's the day to be watching Italy for the next major populist vote.  Polls are still open in Italy as I write this, and we may know the outcome by evening east coast time.  If everything goes according to the prevailing opinion, Italy will vote it's own Brexit or Trumpening, and that will lead to the end of the European Union.  A little refresher from my October 9th piece
Like most of the Western world, Italy is going through a period of anger with their elected leaders, thinking them a corrupt, venal, criminal ruling class interested only in their own betterment at the expense of taxpayers.  In 2007, Beppe Grillo, an Italian actor and comedian, launched Vaffanculo Day to register that disgust with politics.  Those of us not from areas where Italian is spoken every day are probably not aware that “vaffanculo” is Italian for “f*** you” (you'll also see that interpreted as “f*** off”).

What began as a joke morphed into a political party which took the more publicly acceptable name of the 5 Star Movement or M5S.  M5S then morphed into one of the most popular parties in Italy, winning mayoral elections in Rome and Turin earlier this year.  Italy has had virtually no productive growth since it joined the euro in 1999.  M5S blames Italy’s chronic lack of growth on the euro and it appears a large plurality of Italians agree.

M5S has promised to hold a vote to leave the euro and return to Italy’s old currency, the lira, as soon as they’re in power. Under these circumstances it would probably pass.

Meanwhile, the current pro-EU Italian government of Matteo Renzi is holding a referendum on changing the Italian constitution later this year.
Remember Brexit?  How about calling this iExit?  Leaving the EU and government reform have become the central theme of a referendum coming on December 4th, which CITI bank is calling a bigger risk to the EU than Brexit.  Renzi has offered to take power from the senate because Italians think the senate is a useless, obstructionist debating club.  (Sound familiar?)  Renzi's proposal doesn't seem to be widely popular because Italians also don't seem to trust transferring the power to the Prime Minister.  They have a well-kept memory of a too-powerful executive (can you say Benito Mussolini?). 
Zerohedge is predicting a Vaffanculo Day, and the M5S sweeping into control and the beginning of the end for the European Union. 

In a possibly unrelated story, they also report on Non Governmental Organizations smuggling "immigrants" into Europe on an industrial scale.  Directly into Italy.  If there's going to be one thing that increases the chances of the population giving the elitists the finger, this is could do it.  If not, it will add more pressure to split the EU as the "African immigrants" spread their campaign of rape and murder across the continent. 
Beppe Grillo, who started it going.


  1. I've always heard it as Italeave instead of iExit.

    Also, don't forget the Austrian runoff election happening today as well. Hofer is polling well from what I understand.

    1. I think I'm responsible for iExit, back in October, so I'll accept the blame for getting it wrong. Or feel free to use it.

  2. Looks like it got slammed 60/40!

  3. I can't recall, but did I mention the last time you wrote about va'fanculo that "culo" is pretty much the same in Italian as it is in Spanish/Mexican? Gives a slightly _deeper_ meaning to the expression. Good word to use for those who voted against iExit/Italeave/Quitaly (I like them all).