Hoffer and Van der Bellen Jan Hetfleisch/Stringer

El día del juicio final de Europa en diciembre

VIENA – Mientras la mayor parte de la Unión Europea parece haber entrado en pánico ante la perspectiva de una victoria de la líder de la extrema derecha francesa Marine Le Pen en la elección presidencial de Francia en mayo, la próxima prueba para la UE tendrá lugar mucho antes. El domingo los italianos votarán en un referendo sobre reformas constitucionales y los austríacos elegirán a su próximo presidente. Las elecciones de ambos países podrían tener ramificaciones importantes más allá de sus fronteras.

En Italia, el inminente plebiscito se ha convertido en un voto de confianza popular en el primer ministro, Matteo Renzi, quien ha dicho que renunciará si se rechazan las reformas. Según las últimas encuestas, Renzi podría verse obligado a cumplir con su promesa, lo que podría decretar el fin de la democracia social reformista en Italia -y en otras partes-. En Austria, los votantes elegirán entre un candidato pro-UE y otro anti-UE en el molde nacionalista de Le Pen, Norbert Hofer, del Partido de la Libertad de Austria (FPÖ). Una victoria de Hofer podría insuflar viento a las velas de Le Pen.

Los cambios constitucionales que la campaña por el Sí de Renzi pretende que los votantes aprueben echarían por tierra parte del legado de su antecesor Silvio Berlusconi -un legado que sirve como excelente ejemplo del daño que el populismo de derecha puede generarle a un país-. Entre otras cosas, Berlusconi alteró el sistema político de Italia de manera tal de impedir que la izquierda alguna vez vuelva a ganar un poder absoluto y bloquear cualquier cargo criminal que se pudiera presentar en su contra. 

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