December 4, Italy is holding a referendum that will determine the fate of the entire European Union.
Donald Trump’s victory—which shocked Europe’s political and media elite—gives the populists backing the “No” side of Italy’s referendum the political rocket fuel they need for a virtually guaranteed win.
That momentum will be all but impossible to reverse. Anti-elite sentiment is rising on both sides of the Atlantic. And I bet the global populist revolution will continue.
If Italians buck the establishment—and it looks like they will—it will clear a path for a populist party to take power and for Italy to exit the euro.
If that happens, the fallout will be catastrophic for global markets. The Financial Times recently put it this way:
An Italian exit from the single currency would trigger the total collapse of the eurozone within a very short period.
It would probably lead to the most violent economic shock in history, dwarfing the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008 and the 1929 Wall Street crash.
The referendum is meant to concentrate more power in Italy’s central government. On that point alone, everyone should oppose it. The centralization of power never leads to good things.
A “Yes” vote is effectively a vote of confidence in the current pro-EU Italian establishment. This is what the global elite wants.
A “No” vote is how the average Italian can give the finger to the faceless EU bureaucrats in Brussels, whom many blame—quite correctly—for their problems.
A populist tsunami is about to wash through Europe. It will drastically change the Continent’s political landscape in a way not seen since before World War II.
This wave will flush away traditional “mainstream” parties and usher in anti-establishment populists who want to leave the European Union.
It’s already hit the UK in the form of Brexit, killing David Cameron’s pro-EU government in the process.
Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Greece already have populist, Eurosceptic—or “non-mainstream”—parties in power.
Italy is the next flashpoint.
A “No” vote in Italy is virtually assured at this point.
But it won’t be the end of the anti-elite surge. Voters in Europe’s biggest countries could soon throw out their “mainstream” parties in favor of populist and Eurosceptic alternatives.
Here’s the rundown…
Austria is holding a presidential election, also on December 4. It’s actually a redo of an election held in May, where a populist candidate, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party, barely lost.
Austrian courts found irregularities in the results and ordered a prompt new election. But when opinion polls showed the populist candidate in the lead, the government delayed the vote until December 4, giving a lame excuse about faulty adhesive on absentee ballots. Despite the foot-dragging, Mr. Hofer looks set to win the December 4 vote.
France has a presidential election next spring. There’s a chance that Marine Le Pen, leader of the Eurosceptic National Front party, will do better than many expect. After more than a decade of disappointment under presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, French voters are clamoring for something different.
Spain recently re-elected incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. However, Spanish voters fled traditional political parties en masse for new populist upstarts Podemos and Ciudadanos. So Rajoy was unable to form a majority government.
Rajoy now leads a severely weak minority government. The political power of the Spanish populist parties is only expected to grow.
Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, embodies the European establishment more than any other politician. Her party suffered a series of stinging defeats in regional elections this year, mostly because of her signature lax immigration policies, which have flooded Germany with migrants.
Merkel’s troubles have only helped the Alternative for Germany, a new populist party surging in popularity. The party could pose a real problem for Merkel in the 2017 federal elections.
As the Netherlands approaches elections in March, Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom, which advocates leaving the EU, is basically tied in opinion polls with the establishment parties.
How to Profit from the Tsunami…
As populist, Eurosceptic parties surge, the entire European Union is looking shakier by the day.
One Italian politician correctly put it this way: “The euro is melting away like a gelato left out in the August sun.”
Our thesis for the collapse of the EU not only stands… it’s getting stronger and stronger.
Less than a month after the "shocking" election of Donald Trump as US president, the world prepares for another day of political shockwaves, this time out of Europe, when on Sunday all eyes will be on Italy and, to a slightly lesser extent, Austria.
Or, as Bank of America puts it "Meanwhile in Europe..."
As we have previewed on various occasions (most recently in Friday's extensive "Everything You Need To Know About The Italian Referendum & Should Be Afraid To Ask"), in a few short hours, Italy will vote on a constitutional reform referendum. While we urge readers to skim the in depth "walk thru", here is a simplified version of what happens after the likely "No" vote tomorrow.
The main concern in the markets - which has manifested itself in both the European currency, its vol structure, as well as Italian bond yields - is that a strong “No” vote will cause Prime Minister Renzi to resign, leading to political instability in Italy. Furthermore, a "No" vote is expected to kill a long-running attempt to rescue Italy's third largest and oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, which has been desperate for a private sector bailout ever since it failed this summer's ECB stress test to avoid broader banking sector contagion; a failure of Monte Paschi will likely spark a fresh eurozone banking crisis, and prompt the ECB to get involved again (as it warned it would do), in a redux of what happened after the Brexit vote.
The biggest question from
tomorrow's today's vote, is what happens to Italian PM Renzi should he lose the vote, and as France 24 reports, if voters reject Renzi's plan to streamline parliament, the centre-left leader has said he will step down.
An Italian "No" vote simply accelerate the global backlash against globalization, and lead to even more trade protectionist measures. But what is the most likely outcome, is that when the "No" vote wins (despite the endorsement of The Economist, which has gotten the outcome of every major political event this year wrong), it will only push the case for the anti-establishment vote in more European countries, until eventually Europe's populist forces stretch the European experiment so thin, that the Eurozone itself - an experiment which from day one catered to corporate interests and an established political oligarchy - will collapse under the weight of its own discontents.
Also on Sunday, there is also a presidential election in Austria. A victory by the right-wing candidate, Norbert Hofer, would raise concerns about EU fragmentation because his party has advocated a referendum on EU membership. His victory would also raise concerns about a similar outcome in the French elections in May, and many other upcoming European elections as shown in the calendar at the bottom of this page:
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to invest in a new “not for profit institute” dedicated to dreaming up pro-establishment, globalist policies.
He said the new institute would “build a new policy agenda” for what he called the “centre ground” of politics, as well as allowing “a reasonable and evidence based discussion of the future which avoids the plague of social media-led exchanges of abuse.”
The former Prime Minister hinted one of the focuses of the new institute would be supporting European integration as well as open borders.
“Part of its focus will plainly be around the European debate; but this will not be its exclusive domain.
Populism, Mr Blair said, was growing on both the left and the right, threatening the “open-minded” process of globalisation and the “benefits”
The Mail quotes him as saying: “This new populism may differ in some respects between left and right — the left anti-business, the right anti-immigrant — but in others, what is remarkable is the convergence between them, especially around isolationism and protectionism, in what is an essentially closed-minded approach to globalisation and its benefits and to international engagement.”
His Institute comes as voters across Europe and North America turn against globalisation and open borders, and the elite that supports them.
Recount Collapses: Jill Stein's Failure in Pennsylvania Means No Overturning Donald Trump's Ascension to Presidency
Late on Saturday, the Green Party withdrew its demand that the State of Pennsylvania perform a statewide recount, validating the state’s previous announcement giving Trump the win. It also leaves recounts in several other states without a hope of changing the outcome of the November 8 election of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of the United States.
Lawyers for the Green Party withdrew a lawsuit, saying they don’t have the $1 million bond required to continue the challenge filed to initiate the recount, the Associated Press reported on December 3.
The lawsuit aimed to supplant state law to force a recount, according to the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
A statement from the state party celebrated the end of the Green Party lawsuit, saying that the effort was “completely without merit” from the start.
At 5:00 p.m. this evening the Stein Petitioners filed to discontinue the Election Contest in Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court entered an Order closing the case. Lawrence Tabas, Esq., lead counsel in Pennsylvania for President-Elect Trump, his Electors, and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania stated that: “The filing of a discontinuance of the Election Contest by Jill Stein’s petitioners tonight is a recognition that their Election Contest was completely without merit, and meant solely for purposes to delay the Electoral College vote in Pennsylvania for President-Elect Trump.”
The State GOP went on to criticize Stein for creating “the fear of chaos by making baseless accusations of the hacking of voting machines in Pennsylvania” and insisted that Stein should also now withdraw her scattered recount petitions filed in various locales in the Keystone State.
"This whole 'red scare' thing has become so thoroughly ridiculous, so blatantly propagandist and overblown, so pervasively passed around by mainstream media outlets without serious investigation, so obviously picked up off a shelf in ad hoc convenience, and so completely hypocritical by the professional elite, that I am tempted to write it off and forget about it. But I should probably be deeply troubled for other reasons.
It is a sign of the establishment going further off the deep end, and further dropping its pretenses. It is a sign of a desperate elite that will say anything, do anything, and risk everything to control the narrative and protect itself.
We are descending into farce. Deeply dangerous farce."
Every pundit who is grinding their axes about the various forces that unjustly took the election from Hillary needs to listen to this.
Thomas Frank is absolutely right. Everyone who had their eyes open could see this loss by the Democrats coming, or at the least a much closer race than expected. Donald Trump certainly saw it, and used it for his advantage.
And even now, the core political and entertainment establishment clearly is not accepting this, does not care in their cozy complacency.
A good part of this is because of the credibility trap, and their sense of entitled superiority.
If you don't believe this, watch the Democratic establishment mouthpiece channels like MSNBC almost any evening.
I hate to bother you with yet another posting on this subject, but the context of the situation shows that the message needs to be repeated, and driven home in order to penetrate the echo chamber of the Beltway Bubble.
The widely accepted attitude of the Wall Street Democrats was that the working middle class had 'no where else to go,' and so their interests could be sacrificed, time and again. They chose consciously to spend their energy in the pursuit of specialized big money interests.
They blame racism, the Russians, sexism, Bernie bros, hackers, the 'deplorables' in a bit of an ironic twist on the Romney moment, the electoral college, and even the roots of democratic process itself.
They and their strategy failed. Spectacularly.
The final refuge of the exceptionally arrogant is to dismiss those who have rejected them, and expect them to come crawling back, asking for another chance.
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