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Yearbook 2015

2015 ItalyItaly. In Italy, Parliament voted during the year through political reforms that could have profound effects. On the one hand, the country was given new electoral laws aimed at giving the country more stable governments, and on the other it was decided on a constitutional change which means that the Senate - the Italian upper house - will be abolished in its current form.

According to COUNTRYAAH, both of these changes were announced in early 2014 by the new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. During his first year in the office he slaughtered one of the country's holiest cows: the labor market laws that had hitherto been a strong protection for the already employed but who were considered to close the young people out.

2015 Italy

In 2015, employment has increased in the country, but analysts have difficulty saying whether the increase is due to the new legislation or is related to the upturn in the economy that Italy has seen after several years of stagnant or negative development.

During the year, Prime Minister Renzi wrote political history when he succeeded in enforcing a constitutional reform that abolishes the Senate in the Italian Parliament. Unlike other countries with an upper house in their parliaments, Italy's two chambers have had the same legislative power, which has meant that every bill has been bounced back and forth between the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The system has been particularly complicated when the party political majority has shifted between the chambers.

Another historic event occurred in October when the Italian senators voted for themselves. The 315 elected senators will now be replaced by 100 representatives of the country's various regions, and the new upper house will lose its legislative power. Combined with the new electoral law, the reform would mean that future governments could rule the country for the entire five-year term without political crises. Since the abolition of the Senate in its current form implies a constitutional change, the law will be subject to a referendum in 2016.

During the year it became increasingly clear that Silvio Berlusconi's star has fallen. According to opinion polls, Berlusconi's party Forza Italia would today receive no more than about 12% of the vote. At the end of the year, Berlusconi showed clear signs of wanting to ally its party with the xenophobic and EU-skeptical Lega Nord, which today is led by Matteo Salvini.

However, the threat to Renzi's government is greater from the left-wing populist Five Star Movement (M5S). During the year the movement has developed into a more traditional party and its founder, the comedian Beppe Grillo, has allowed his parliamentarians to act as ordinary politicians. Having previously communicated solely via the Internet, the former anti-politicians during the year began to take part in TV's debates. Political analysts point out that the M5S today attracts young people on the left who are disappointed in the ruling center-left party.

During the year, a scandal erupted in Rome that led to the resignation of the city council to get the mayor to leave his post. The mayor, the surgeon Ignazio Marino, is not himself suspected of corruption, but was found not to have the capacity to deal with criminal politicians from various parties who have shot at public procurement.

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