When Enough is Enough

Fed up with corruption, Italians now have a chance to revamp their political system

Who ever thought that when the cold war ended, one of the losers would be Italy? For more than four decades, the same handful of politicians and parties claimed power as a bulwark against bolshevism. But once the threat of a communist government in Rome fizzled, the cozy coalition system began to implode. In the past year, magistrates have uncovered a spaghetti of corruption -- illicit political payments, bribery, kickbacks and outright thievery -- so tangled that even the tolerant, rule-bending Italians have been shocked. Many watched with a mixture of glee and dismay as nearly 2,500 of the country's political...

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