Mon 10 March 2008, Financial Times

Italy’s hopes of unity likely to be thwarted

By Geoff Andrews
Wolfgang Munchau’s argument that Italy needs a grand coalition to halt economic decline and drive through reform (this page, February 4) has been given greater weight in recent weeks. Walter Veltroni’s new Democratic party has begun to close the gap significantly on his rival, Silvio Berlusconi, ensuring another close contest in next month’s general election, while recent polls show a desire among citizens for both institutional reforms and more stability. Yet this new mood of national unity and renewal is likely to be thwarted by the private interests of Italy’s political class, for whom the costs of such change are high.

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