ITALY: End of the Coalition?

Italy last week seemed to be heading toward a political fate that most people did not want but no one seemed able to avoid: the dissolution of Parliament and a general election a year ahead of schedule. If that were to hap-!pen, it might well mean the demise of the quarrelsome, cumbersome and increasingly ineptcenter-left coalition that has governed the country for the past ten years.

The keystone of the coalition is the Christian Democratic Party—Italy's largest—which has dominated 27 consecutive governments since 1945. For the past decade, the party's strategy has been to try...

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