In Italy, general elections are crucial for the euro future
A Bersani-Monti coalition seems, however, the most likely scenario
On Sunday and Monday, Italians will vote to elect a new Parliament. The latest opinion polls put Mr. Bersani’s centre-left coalition ahead with a 7- point lead over Mr. Berlusconi’s centreright coalition. Yet given Italy’s complex electoral system, the outcome is still highly uncertain. The centre-left coalition will probably win the Lower House, where a majority premium (55% of seats) is guaranteed for the coalition that wins the most votes at the national level. The Senate is a different story, however, where the premium is awarded on a regional basis. The number of senators for each region is determined based on its population weighting. As a result, the Northern regions have a large number of seats, where the centre-right benefits from broad support. To form a government, Mr. Bersani might need the support of Mr. Monti’s coalition, which ranks fourth in the opinion polls. A large majority is probably something Italy needs to proceed on the road to the reforms set up by Mr. Monti. Potential output is still low and the next government, whatever its colour, will have to work hard to resolve the bottleneck that is constraining the Italian economy. At end 2012, GDP was at the same level than in 2001, when Silvio Berlusconi came back to power
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