Italy: Tycoon's Revenge

Despite conflicts of interest and corruption charges, Silvio Berlusconi seems likely to become Prime Minister of Italy again. Since he last held that post the economy has improved so much that Rome is now at home in the Eurozone. But equally important, wholesale political reform has fallen victim to a fractured party system.

The World Today Published 1 May 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 4 minute READ

David Hine

Italians are about to go to the polls to deliver their verdict on five years of centre-left government. Against expectations, the Ulivo coalition has held together more or less intact for a full parliamentary term. In itself that is no small achievement.

The alliance which won the 1996 general election was an eclectic mix: the formerly communist Democratic Left, various ex-Christian-Democrat groups, the Greens, a few former socialists, and a left fringe that continued to call itself communist. The coalition not only survived, but notched up one huge achievement. It completed the process of financial and budgetary reform which helped Italy to qualify for first-wave membership of Europe’s common currency at its launch in 1999.

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