As a political quagmire has brought economic reform to a standstill, unemployment in Italy has risen to an estimated 12.3 percent, the highest rate in more than 35 years.

Photograph by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

As a political quagmire has brought economic reform to a standstill, unemployment in Italy has risen to an estimated 12.3 percent, the highest rate in more than 35 years.

Photograph by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

Italy's Lost Year

Italy Pays the Price of Gridlock
Italy Pays the Price of Gridlock

As a political quagmire has brought economic reform to a standstill, unemployment in Italy has risen to an estimated 12.3 percent, the highest rate in more than 35 years.

Photograph by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images
Exit Monti
Exit Monti

December 2012:

Prime Minister Mario Monti announces he will resign, saying he has lost support in parliament.

 

Unemployment rate: 11.2 percent

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg
An Election, but No Winner
An Election, but No Winner

February 2013:

Italians vote in parliamentary elections, but results are inconclusive. A coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani is the top vote-getter but lacks a Senate majority needed to form a government, forcing Bersani into talks to form a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Liberty party.  

 

Unemployment rate: 11.6 percent

Photograph by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images
Stitching Together a Coalition
Stitching Together a Coalition

April 2013:

After two months of negotiations, Enrico Letta of the center-left Demcratic Party is sworn in as prime minister on April 28. He heads a coalition including Berlusconi's party.

 

Unemployment rate: 12 percent

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg
Europe Rises, Italy Falls
Europe Rises, Italy Falls

June 2013:

Italy's gross domestic product shrinks a worse-than-expected 0.6 percent during the first quarter, according to a report from the National Statistics Institute in Rome. While the euro zone exited recession in the second quarter, Italy's economy shrank an additional 0.3 percent.

 

Unemployment rate: 12.1 percent

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg
Berlusconi's Blowup
Berlusconi's Blowup

August 2013:

Berlusconi throws the governing coalition into turmoil by threatening to withdraw support if members of Letta's party vote to expel him from parliament.

 

Unemployment rate: 12.2 percent

Photograph by AFP via Getty Images
Letta Hangs On
Letta Hangs On

October 2013:

Letta survives an Oct. 2 confidence vote when Berlusconi backs down, as his party shows signs of deserting him. On Oct. 25, Berlusconi announces that he's forming a new party, called Forza Italia.

 

Unemployment rate: 12.3 percent (Bloomberg consensus forecast)

Photograph by Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg