Investors are turning away from Italian stocks and related exchange traded funds after Italy’s center-right leader pulled five ministers out of the five-month-old coalition government.
The iShares MSCI Italy ETF (NYSEArca: EWI) dipped 0.8% Monday. EWI is up 7.8% year-to-date.
Five ministers from Silvio Berlusconi’s PSL party resigned from the Italian government Saturday in response to center-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s request for a confidence vote next week if fiscal measures were not agreed upon, Euronews reports. [Italy ETF Swings Lower on Berlusconi, Election]
The announcement could lead to quick elections or force Letta to seek out allies elsewhere.
The new round of political uncertainty raised concerns that Italy’s troubles could threaten the political and financial stability in the Eurozone, reports Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times.
Tensions within the Italian coalition government escalated after Berlusconi’s conviction last month on a tax fraud case, along with the government’s failure to take measures to stop a scheduled 1% hike in the country’s value-added tax to 22%.