Dutch Elections On March 15
The Netherlands are known for its liberal government. But this time around, it’s a far-right political party led by Geert Wilders that seems to be leading in the parliamentary race. The agenda is anti-immigration, and nationalist, according to news reports. It’s the type of leadership that fuels ideas of a possible Dutch break with the eurozone.
French Election On April 23
France too has a populist candidate, Marine Le Pen, in the lead to replace President Francois Hollande, and one who’s fueling talks of a France break with the eurozone. Two of the left-leaning candidates opposing Le Pen are now in talks to join forces in an effort to defeat her in the polls, according to news reports. The election should lead to a second round of voting in early May.
Possible Italian Election This Summer
Italy isn’t scheduled to have general elections again until May 2018. But last year’s resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following his defeat in a constitutional referendum could lead to an early vote sometime this year. Changes to the electoral law recently approved have left the door open for a 2017 election. For now, Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella has nominated Paolo Gentiloni as prime minister.
German Election On Oct. 22
A populist group is challenging Angela Merkel to the post of chancellor. Germany has been a central player in the eurozone, and the outcome of the election will be crucial to markets globally. There’s a growing anti-immigration, nationalist view also brewing in Germany.
Following last year’s surprising British vote to leave the eurozone, the British parliament is now faced with a Brexit bill detailing the actual plan to break with the eurozone. According to news reports, the government is looking for a final bill approval by early March.
Greek Debt Payment Due In July
Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone’s debt crisis since 2009. There’s a lot of water under this bridge in both political and economic fronts, but the bottom line is that Greece is still negotiating the terms of its bailout, as the country faces a looming payment due this summer. Lenders are said to be calling for more austerity measures in Greece.
Lots Of ETFs In This Space
The outcome of all these events this year will directly impact the outlook and the performance of Europe-focused ETFs.
Today there are at least 111 equity and currency funds focused exclusively on the region, and they command about $55 billion in assets under management. A complete list of these ETFs can be found in our Europe ETFs Channel.
Almost no one predicted Brexit would happen, or that Donald Trump would win the U.S. presidency. Now, there’s plenty more uncertainty stemming from a busy calendar in the eurozone this year.
Contact Cinthia Murphy at [email protected]