Several weeks ago, following the Brexit and other uprisings throughout Southern Europe, I began to question the continued existence of the European Union. A combination of non-elected leadership, years of austerity measures, open borders policies, and Russian sanctions hurting European businesses have inspired the movement to leave the EU.
In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum to amend the constitution has been rejected by the Italian people, and he has resigned his position. The proposal sought to provide stability to the Italian banking system and the government, which has gone through 63 administrations since the fall of Mussolini during World War II. Renzi’s opponents rejected the bill for being poorly drafted and somewhat vague, weakening democratic representation in Parliament, and centralizing power in the cities and away from the provinces.
Although this isn’t explicitly an anti-EU vote, it certainly rejects all of the centralizing, autocratic tendencies of Brussels. Furthermore, most of the votes garnered by these anti-EU movements come from the less-populated rural areas such as the provinces. If anything, it’s more of the same, and the Italians have rejected it.
Not long after the “Renzignation” the value of the euro plummeted.
“The euro was under the gun on Monday, skidding to a 20-month low after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign following a stinging defeat on constitutional reform that could destabilize the country’s shaky banking system.
“Opinion polls show Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) is neck-and-neck with the 5-Star [Party], which has called for a referendum on Italy’s membership of the euro currency.”
Facing movements like the 5-Star Party, Marine Le Pen’s National Front, the Dutch Party for Freedom, and many other groups and leaders, the bureaucrats in Brussels have started to panic a little. This recent article shared by Dr. Joseph Farrell over at Giza Death Star quotes European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker advising European leaders against holding these anti-EU referendums.
“Regarding referenda on EU membership, I think it is not wise to organise this kind of debate, not only because I might be concerned about the final result but because this will pile more controversy onto the huge number already present at the heart of the EU.” – Jean-Claude Juncker
Even Merkel in Germany has begun to soften her stances in response to her party’s drubbing in the last local elections. Formerly a staunch supporter of muslim refugees and multiculturalism, Merkel has now advocated for a burqa ban similar to France. Although I don’t agree with forcing women to cover their heads in public (or barring them from getting an education, income, and driving for that matter), I shudder at the thought of giving the government the power to decide what people can or cannot wear and the duty to enforce such laws with fines or imprisonment if necessary.