Why Italy's Renzi will blame the EU to excuse his failures

Why Italy's Renzi will blame the EU to excuse his failures
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Video transcript:

What has prevented Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi from pushing through his reforms over the past six months?

Professor Enrico Colombatto:

There is a political reason and a substantial reason. The political reason is that he does not have a majority parliament, so he needs support. And one should also add that he has no foolproof, waterproof party behind him. It is weak, fractioned and he has to watch out.

But there is a more substantive reason, and reason is that he does not have a plan, he does not have an outline, he does not have a strategy.

He doesn’t have a file with which to go to parliament with and say, ‘I want to do A, B and C, are you for it or against it?’

And if you don’t have a strategy, if your troops are not loyal and perhaps they’re not enough, you’re in trouble. And this is Renzi’s problem.

So to answer your question, I think reason number one is lack of charisma, lack of leadership and lack of ideas.

What does the European Union expect from Mr Renzi, and can he deliver?

Professor Enrico Colombatto:

He will be treading water. He cannot deliver as long as he does not change his team. He has a weak team. It’s good for show but they’re not strong enough, they’re not competent enough, and they’re not professionals in a way.

In this moment they should go to parliament and say ‘Hey, this is what you have to do, take it or leave it. And if you leave it, we go home.’

And he’s not going to do that.

So my hunch is that he might ask the European Union to prepare a plan for him, and then submit it to the Italians and say ‘Look, it’s painful, it might be bad, it might be criticised, but it’s not my stuff. So vote for me and keep me in office, so that I can cut corners or soften the plan.’

So basically he hopes, that’s my view, that the European Union or the European Central Bank will fix it for him.

What will happen if Mr Renzi fails to deliver on his much-needed reforms?

Professor Enrico Colombatto:

Well, everybody here is talking about elections sometime in the first semester of 2015. So this is an option, and Renzi is considering it very seriously, mainly because right now he doesn’t have opponents.

So if we went to the polls today, or in a few months from now, I would say you would have a lot of absenteeism because people don’t know what to vote, for whom to vote.

And those who would go to the polls, they would vote for Renzi. The polls say right now that Berlusconi is something at 15 per cent, and Grillo is out of business, so the big men in town, or the ‘big boy scout’ in town would be Renzi, despite all the bad things we hear about him right now in Italy.

(Photo credit: dpa)

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