“THE biggest risk in Europe is the Italian referendum,” said Gianfelice Rocca, head of Assolombarda, Milan’s chamber of commerce, this summer. For corporate Italy, much is at stake in the vote on constitutional reform, which will be held on December 4th. Victory for Matteo Renzi, the business-friendly prime minister, could mean a big fillip for firms of all sizes, whereas a loss would be “a shock in the system”, said Mr Rocca.
The national employers’ federation, Confindustria, agrees with him. If those campaigning for a “yes” vote are to be believed, firmer government, easier conditions for investors and generally brighter economic prospects would follow. The two main issues to be decided are reform of the Senate’s powers—whether to let the lower chamber pass future laws, even when opposed by the Senate—and whether decision-making powers should be brought back from regional governments to the centre.
Francesco Starace, the chief executive of Enel, a giant European electricity company that is one of Italy’s more successful firms, sets out a strong case that the proposed changes would bring important benefits to…Continue reading