Italy, the Euro and Europe:  A round-table discussion on the implications of the recent upheavals in Italy


To be held on Wednesday, July 3, 2018, 12.30-2.15


  • Lorenzo Codogno (London School of Economics)
  • Paola Subacchi (Chatham House) 



At the time of writing, what appeared to be an existential crisis for the Eurozone has quietened down. The Lega and 5 Star have managed to form a government that President Mattarella (and Ms. Merkel) can accept; the new PM has said that quitting the euro was never on the table. And talk of an imminent election has receded.

And yet… PM Conte has insisted that he intended to push through “radical” change, the spread of Italian treasuries over bonds was widened to 250bp, capital flight is pushing up Italy’s T25 balance at the ECB and the inescapable fact remains that the new government is committed to increased public spending – and a higher fiscal deficit. With Italy’s debt rate already at 139% it is hard to escape the feeling that a car crash is inevitable.

So, since Italy remains the third largest economy in the Eurozone (and the seventh or eighth in the world), and since Italian banks (with or without consolidation) are among the biggest in Europe, it is worth a look at how the country’s problems are going to impact on Brussels, on the Euro – and, indirectly on ‘Brexit’ and on the city of London.

To discuss this and any other issues that come up I am delighted that we have been able to assemble a distinguished panel:

  • Lorenzo Codogno is a visiting professor at the LSE’s European Institute. Before coming to London in 2015, he spent a decade as chief economist at the Italian Treasury, heading the Italian delegation to the EU’s Economic Policy Committee. Before joining the Treasury, he spent 11 years at Bank of America in London and before that worked at Unicredit’s research department in Milan. In addition to his academic work he also runs his own consultancy, LC Macro Advisors.
  •  Paola Subbachi is currently a senior research fellow in global economics and finance at Chatham House, where she was previously research director and head of the international economics program. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Bologna, and an NED at Scottish Mortgage Investment trust.

As someone who followed the Greek crisis closely, I was very conscious that what was manageable in Athens could become an inescapable problem for the Eurozone if Rome went the same way – and I was, therefore, intrigued/horrified to read that Yanis Varoufakis has been spending time in Italy advising the new government. Whatever, Italy matters – in a way that Greece really didn’t. And it is, therefore, a situation that is worth a very careful look. If you (or a colleague) would like to join us – and perhaps share your own thoughts – please let us know as soon as possible by emailing or calling the CSFI on 020 7621 1056As usual wine and sandwiches will be provided.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton