Italy’s populists maintain their lead in the polls ahead of March 4 election

Italy’s populists maintain their lead in the polls ahead of March 4 election

Today, Italian authorities will update GDP figures for the three months leading to December 2017. The release comes less than

Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio

Photo: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

Today, Italian authorities will update GDP figures for the three months leading to December 2017. The release comes less than a month before the general election that could influence the behaviour of the EU and international investors towards Italy.

The report indicates that the Italian economy, the Eurozone’s third largest but slowest growing, should expand by 1.5% throughout 2018, an estimate supported by strong industrial production in the last quarter.

Currently, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) is ahead of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) in opinion polls. M5S, the strongest single party that has recently welcomed the idea of collaborating with its rivals, trails behind the centre-right coalition between Forza Italia, post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia and the formerly secessionist and far-right Lega.

With no party in a position to secure a clear majority on March 4, the rising popularity of M5S and Lega could sway the incoming parliament towards a more Eurosceptic government. Robust anti-euro voices in Italy could detract foreign investors and galvanise a withdrawal movement.

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