Domestic Difficulties

Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder are all using this week's summit to escape troubles at home — so why not Silvio Berlusconi? This was one VIP invite the Italian Prime Minister could have used, but the call never came. Instead, Berlusconi is at home dealing with escalating labor unrest, deepening consumer pessimism and fractious coalition partners.

It seems that everyone — doctors, judges, steelworkers, bus drivers — is venting anger over Berlusconi's handling of the economy. Last week a one-day strike of some 150,000 doctors and other medical workers forced the cancellation of nearly 700,000 nonemergency...

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