Waving or drowning?


Berlusconi's credit with voters and allies is waning

It was like a rerun from the bad old days of Italian politics, when governments came and went at the rate of more than one a year. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned last week after a disastrous showing by his center-right coalition in local elections. One partner, the Union of Christian Democrats (UDC), withdrew its ministers; another, the National Alliance (AN), threatened to do likewise. So Berlusconi quit, but quickly formed a new government by reshuffling his Cabinet. He appointed former Treasury Minister and Berlusconi loyalist Giulio Tremonti as deputy PM in place of UDC chief Marco Follini, who has distanced...

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