The most important election result last week was not the triumph of anti-EU parties. It was the astonishingly robust victory of Matteo Renzi in Italy.
The truth behind Mr Renzi’s victory, however, is more prosaic. He gave low-income earners a tax cut of €1,000 a year. This may not be the single factor behind his electoral success – but we should also be clear that Italians were not rewarding a politician for implementing tough policies. All the hard choices have yet to be made.
But irrespective of what may have motivated the voters, they ended up strengthening the only leader of a large country who has openly argued that the current eurozone system is dysfunctional, and who claims that he can do something about it. In his speech to his party’s national committee last week, he said the EU was steeped in 1980s ideology. Unless the EU changes, it will fail, he said. On that point, he is right....
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