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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during an EU summit, Brussels, Belgium, June 29, 2016 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

Italy Enjoys a Political Lull, but Storm Clouds Are Gathering

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Italian word for “stormy” is burrascoso. It is a word that foreigners who live in Italy soon learn, if they have any linguistic skill at all, since the outlook for the economy, politics, society, or relations with Europe is invariably one where dark clouds loom on all fronts.

For 40 years now, since the mid-1970s, Italy has indeed been weathering a continuing series of political storms. On at least two occasions, in 1992-1993 and 2011-2012, the country teetered on the brink of a systemic crisis of Greek or Argentine dimensions. In the meantime, the absence of coherent political leadership has ensured the erosion of the country’s standing in the world. ...

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