World: La Dolce Payola

Enrico Mattei was one of the most powerful men in Italy when he died in a plane crash three months ago. As wheeler-dealer boss of the huge government-owned E.N.I, oil monopoly, he used sharp elbows at home and abroad in the constant effort to expand the power of his $2 billion industrial giant. When the elbows did not work, money did—as indicated by the recent tribulations of some of Italy's most prominent newspapers.

Stasera, a new Milan daily, closed shortly after Mattei died. One of Milan's morning papers cut editorial salaries by 20%, fired part of the staff, and canceled plans for...

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