BBC World Service presents World Questions – future of Italy in January edition

UK/Italy: BBC World Service is holding a series of debates in capitals across the world in a time of change. BBC World Questions allows the public to question their politicians directly face to face. The debates are lead entirely by questions from the audience who are able to have their say and be heard round the world.

In January, BBC World Questions will be in Rome providing an opportunity to discuss the future for Italy at this key moment in its history. BBC World Questions is an English-language event staged in partnership with the British Council.

Italians recently voted against the Prime Minister’s proposed constitutional reforms. Matteo Renzi said they were needed to provide stable government to a leading European country which has had 63 governments since the end of World War Two.

Following his resignation Paolo Gentiloni has been appointed as Italy’s seventh Prime Minister in 10 years.

But it is not only political stability that threatens Italy. The country’s banking crisis and economic conditions have the potential to impact the lives of all Italians and could even destroy the Euro. Early elections are possible and with the euro-sceptic Five Star Movement riding high in the polls, a referendum on Italy’s place in Europe could be just around the corner.

BBC’s Jonathan Dimbleby and a panel of politicians and opinion formers quizzed by the audience will discuss Italy’s pressing challenges and what these could mean to the European Union. The panel will be confirmed shortly.

Mary Hockaday, Controller BBC World Service English, says:

– BBC World Service is the home of international debate and this edition of World Questions comes to Italy at a time when the country is facing important questions about its future. Following the prime minister’s resignation and the formation of a new government, we look forward to hearing the views of our distinguished panel and the audience in Rome – and sharing them with the rest of Europe and the world.

Paul Sellers, Director of the British Council in Italy, says:

– We are delighted to be partnering with the BBC in bringing World Questions to Rome. This programme generates space for open and independent debates on current affairs, which supports the British Council’s objective of promoting cultural relations among people worldwide. We believe that connecting people both in Italy and globally makes a powerful and lasting contribution to a more open and connected world.

St. Peter Square in Rome. Photo: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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