Analysis

Italian Election Results Threaten Italian Economy and Euro
Former comedian Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement party, leaves a polling station after casting his ballot in Saint Ilario on February 25. Grillo’s party stunned observers by winning about 25 percent of the vote in last weekend’s parliamentary elections. (FABIO MUZZI/AFP/Getty Images)
February 26, 2013
| Economics
| Europe
Summary
Europe was stunned yesterday when elections in Italy ended in a deadlock, with a huge number of Italians rejecting the budget cuts and government reforms that had been introduced by former Prime Minister Mario Monti. The outcome of the election has re-ignited the crisis in the eurozone, with Italian stocks and government bonds falling today, and new fears that Italy may abandon the euro and return to the lira.
Financial markets have reacted negatively to the Italian election stalemate, with stock markets today dropping across Europe and heavy selling of Italian bonds. Investors are concerned that Prime Minister Mario Monti, who has been overseeing an economic austerity program backed by the EU, got only 10.6 percent of the vote, a result that is being interpreted as a decisive rejection of economic reforms.
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