Austrians Elect Left-Wing President, Italians Vote Renzi Out

Analysis and commentary from the Atlantic Sentinel about two pivotal elections in Europe.

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and Austrian presidential candidates Alexander Van der Bellen and Norbert Hofer
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and Austrian presidential candidates Alexander Van der Bellen and Norbert Hofer (Palazzo Chigi/Stefano Sassu/Facebook/FPÖ)
  • Austrians elected the Green party’s Alexander Van der Bellen as their next president on Sunday, defeating the nationalist Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer with 54 to 46 percent support.
  • The election was example of Europe’s blue-red culture war, pitting women and college graduates against men without a university education.
  • Italians rejected constitutional reforms in a referendum on the same day, prompting the center-left prime minister, Matteo Renzi, to resign.
  • Renzi brought defeat on himself by gambling that the referendum would strengthen him politically. Instead, it galvanized the opposition against him.

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