Politics

Why Populists Are Celebrating Italy’s Referendum Results

Pro-European Union party dealt a crushing blow by Italian voters, prime minister resigns

Populists across Europe are hailing the resounding “No” result of Sunday’s referendum in Italy.

The referendum focused on constitutional changes initially put forward by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his center-left, pro-E.U. and pro-globalization Democratic Party in 2014.

“This vote looks to me to be more about the Euro than constitutional change.”

After finally clearing the Italian Chamber and Senate earlier in the year, Italian law required the law be subjected to popular referendum. On Sunday, that referendum failed and Renzi is stepping down in disgrace. “My experience in government ends here … I did all I could to bring this to victory,” Renzi said in a speech following the result.

The changes advocated by Renzi and his party would have effectively removed the Senate from legislative decision-making, and would have made it far easier for the Chamber, Italy’s lower house, to pass laws on its own.

While the referendum didn’t deal directly with the E.U., its defeat has been seen as a blow to the supranational organization, as the consolidation of government power that would have occurred had the referendum passed would have made it far easier for the Italian government to integrate with the E.U. and greatly diminish the voice of the Italian people.

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Of course, European globalists are doing everything they can to insist the referendum results have absolutely nothing to with the E.U.

“It cannot be compared to the British referendum: Italian people have been called to the polls to vote on an internal constitutional matter, and not on Italy’s long-standing E.U. membership,” claimed Francois Villeroy de Galhau, European Central Bank policymaker and governor of the Bank of France.

The populists, of course, disagree strongly. “This vote looks to me to be more about the Euro than constitutional change,” tweeted former-UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

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Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s populist Lega Nord party, celebrated the results on Twitter. “Long live Trump, long live Putin, long live Le Pen and long live the League!” he tweeted.

“Hooray! We won democracy,” wrote the populist Five Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo on his blog following the announcement of Renzi’s resignation. “The response of the Italian as turnout … was clear,” Grillo continued. “The regime’s propaganda and all his lies are the first losers in this referendum … Times have changed. Sovereignty belongs to the people, now we start to really apply our Constitution,” he wrote.

Other populist politicians outside of Italy also praised the result of the referendum. “The Italians have disavowed the EU and Renzi. We must listen to this thirst for freedom of nations,” tweeted Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing populist Front National, while her deputy Florian Philippot called the result a “huge slap in the face for the E.U. and for Renzi.”

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