Italy: new hope or protracted decline?

It’s business as usual in Italian politics. Late last week, the prime minister, Enrico Letta resigned, having been ousted by the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, as leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

Early this week, Renzi was asked to form a government by Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano. It will be Italy’s 65th administration since 1945. An “optimistic way” to look at this apparent coup in the PD, says Economist.com’s Charlemagne blog, is that Renzi “is bursting with energy” and may be able to push through crucial reforms that eluded Letta.

Italy is in deep trouble. The economy [...]

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