Feb. 26 - Results from Italian parliamentary elections result in gridlock sending shivers through the Asian financial markets. Julie Noce reports.
News of Italy's undecided parliament elections sent shivers through the financial world Tuesday on fears of a resurgent euro zone debt crisis. As Asia woke up to the news, the Nikkei, the Kospi and the Taiex all opened down on news of the political gridlock in Italy. The election was supposed to put into place a government strong enough to implement effective reforms. But neither the centre-left nor the centre-right parties have enough votes to claim a clear victory. Complicating matters further is the comedian-turned-politician whose "5-Star Movement" gained as many votes in the lower house as the centre-left party. A long recession and growing disillusion with mainstream politicians saw more than half of Italian voters back parties that reject austerity policies pursued by the current Prime Minister Mario Monti. That sentiment was reflected on the streets of Rome. It would have been better to not have the elections at all, this person said. Confusion, just confusion, said another. Unless party members can agree to combine forces, a new vote would have to be called.