Less than Dolce Vita

Issue: Spring 2006

On April 9, 2006, Italians will vote on Silvio Berlusconi's record as premier of Italy--and are expected to give a negative verdict. The likelihood is that a coalition of center-left and left-wing parties led by a former president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, will take office, albeit with a slim majority. Whether Prodi will be able to govern effectively is another matter. The Union, as Prodi's coalition is named, consists of a dozen parties and includes former and actual communists along with socialists, liberals and Christian Democrats.

Who cares? "Political turmoil likely in Italy" is hardly a headline to set the pulse racing. Well, both the EU and the United States should care.

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