Italy: Berlusconi May Have Ruined His Best Chance For Change

When Silvio Berlusconi patched together an unwieldy center-right alliance to battle Italy's left wing in national elections last March, he was cheered on by much of the country's business community. After all, they reasoned, if he could put together a $7.5 billion media empire in just 15 years, then he should be just the man to streamline Europe's most statist and bureaucratic economy. The population, battered by two years of recession and political crisis, also bought into his pro-growth promises.

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