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Till austerity do us part? A survey experiment on support for the euro in Italy

Lucio Baccaro, Björn Bremer and Erik Neimanns
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Lucio Baccaro: 28304Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany
Björn Bremer: 28304Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne,Germany

European Union Politics, 2021, vol. 22, issue 3, 401-423

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic worsened Italy’s fiscal outlook by increasing public debt. If interest rates were to rise, it would become more likely that Italy experiences a financial crisis and requires a European bailout. How does making EU funds conditional on austerity and structural reforms affect Italians’ support for the euro? Based on a novel survey experiment, this article shows that a majority of voters chooses to remain in the euro if a bailout does not involve conditionality, but the pro-euro majority turns into a relative majority for ‘Italexit’ if the bailout is contingent on austerity policies. Blaming different actors for the fiscal crisis has little effect on support. These results suggest that conditionality may turn Italian voters against the euro.

Keywords: Austerity; euro; Italy; public opinion; survey experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/14651165211004772

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