HELP WANTED

The relentless economic nightmare on the minds of Italian voters

On March 4, Italians go to the polls in a national election (paywall). The governing center-left party is expected to suffer at the hands of populist parties, as economic stagnation encourages citizens—millions of whom have been pushed into poverty—to shake things up.

Inflation-adjusted GDP per capita in the euro zone’s third-largest economy has fallen since it joined the common currency:

The dire state of the Italian economy has right-wing and populist politicians campaigning on huge spending boosts, including promises of a basic income, to lure in voters. It might work: Italy has the third-highest rate of people at risk of poverty in the euro zone (after Greece and Lithuania), with 3 million more people pushed into this precarious position since the 2008 financial crisis.

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