Italy: Land of Woe and Wonder

The economy sags, the governement wobbles, but la vita is dolce

Completing his fifth month as Prime Minister of a nation noted for swinging-door governments (41 in 36 years), Giovanni Spadolini felt secure enough to confront 57.5 million fellow Italians with a sobering economic warning. The country is sliding into recession at an alarming rate he said in a televised speech a month ago. Unless inflation is brought under control, warned Spadolini, Italy could end up as a Mediterranean banana republic.

If the Prime Minister sought to scare his countrymen into mending their...

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