Commentary: Romano Prodi: Europe's First Prime Minister?

When Italy's Romano Prodi was designated last April as President of the European Commission, he had a strong mandate to push through radical changes in the vast, bureaucratic Brussels institution, which acts as the quasi-government of Europe. After all, the previous Commission, under Luxembourg's Jacques Santer, had resigned in disgrace en masse, accused of wobbly leadership and deep-rooted corruption. Prodi, a longtime senior manager in state industry and a former Prime Minister, was seen as someone who at least could put an honest face on a discredited body.

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