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  • Until lunchtime Wednesday Italy seemed to be plunging into the year's second round of national general elections. But in a surprising turnabout, Silvio Berlusconi dropped his opposition to a populist government of the Five Star movement and the Lega. The irony is that "what couldn't be done in two months was in a couple of hours."
  • Italian Tv Host Fabio Fazio (L), Matteo Renzi
    Sixty days after national general elections in Italy, no government is in sight despite long and tense negotiations among the parties. As the politicians' tempers flare, the long-suffering President Sergio Mattarella is left to seek a way out of the impasse.
  • On Thursday, the second day of formal consultations in the Quirinal Palace, the risk of new elections continued to cast a shadow over the talks guided by President Sergio Mattarella. And in a changing Italy its youthful new Parliament just may prove unpredictable.
  • The Italian Senate
    For the old and new pols charged with running Italy, the Ides of March are still approaching, which is to say the day when one or the other is done in. At the moment all the players are still aiming knives at each other, even as deadlines loom.
  • Luigi Di Maio, Leader of the Five Star Movement
    The shock waves of this election have swept away the entire political system that has managed Italy for the past two decades. Dominated by populist parties, this is now being called the dawn of Italy's Third Republic.
  • Not real candidates: VOTE FOR ME guerrilla posters
    This is the last week before polling is prohibited, and in these last days the campaigning for general elections March 4 is both fraught and fragmented, with no fewer than 28 national parties facing off against each other.
  • The court in session
    In the final, clipped sentence of its ruling Jan. 25, the Constitutional Court cleared the way for national general elections to be held, even this spring, one year ahead of the formal end of the legislature. Those jubilant over the decision included Matteo Renzi, Beppe Grillo and Matteo Salvini.
  • Giovanni Fattori, Macchiaiolo
    For better and sometimes for worse, 2016 had its memorable moments. Given the importance of the arts in Italy, among the events of the year listed below are also major art exhibitions and performances of grand opera.
  • Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally
    Donald Trump’s electoral victory created much clamor in Italy as elsewhere. Two subjects seem to be particularly relevant to the Italian public opinion as reflected by the country’s major media outlets: the populist revolt against the establishment and the disconnection of pundits and opinion makers from the true feelings of “the ordinary people.” A cursory look at these first reactions shows both the differences and some striking similarities between the US and Italian political debates.

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