The success of an anti-establishment party in Italy’s local elections on June 19 highlights that the country’s banking problems, sluggish economic growth and combative relationship with the European Union are changing the perception of Italian voters. In Geopolitical Futures’ forecast for 2016, we predicted that Italy, the eurozone’s third largest economy, will face a banking crisis. Signs of this crisis have already emerged, as the country has struggled to effectively rid its banking sector of non-performing loans while complying with EU regulations that limit the ability of governments to aid banks. Some Italians may have voted for anti-establishment politicians in hope of change, but Italy’s challenges — rooted in its economic system and relationship with the EU – are not going away.
The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which ran a campaign focused on corruption and promises of change and supported a possible referendum on eurozone membership, won mayoral posi