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The bluff of Matteo: can the demolition man rebuild Italy?

Italy has sworn in its youngest prime minister, and Mattew Renzi has big plans. But Rome reporter Josephine McKenna asks: can the former Wheel of Fortune winner now win over a disaffected nation?

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Vladimir v Vladimir: meet the Italian transgender ex-MP who took on Putin

An Italian gay rights activist went to Sochi — and got thrown in jail. Crikey intern Luca Zuccaro profiles the former MP, who has had a colourful life — and more than one brush with Russian homophobes.

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Matteo Renzi, Italy’s next leader, a young man in a hurry

Italy’s new prime minister, until two months ago the 38-year-old mayor of Florence, is ambitious and models himself on Tony Blair. But he’ll have huge challenges ahead of him as he tackles Italy’s economic and electoral woes, and no parliamentary majority to aid his rule.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

Berlusconi’s sex crime indicative of his ‘bunga bunga’ legacy

Founded guilty of sex with an underage prostitute, Silvio Berlusconi has moved closer to going to jail on a charge that almost by coincidence tells us a lot about his record, writes Charles Richardson.

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Berlusconi’s shadow looms large over new Italian PM

Italy’s new PM Enrico Letta owes his leadership to a deal forged with Silvio Berlusconi. With Il Cavaliere still lurking in the background, will anything really change? Rome-based freelancer Josephine McKenna reports.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

Italy’s centre-left turns to Berlusconi in post-election brouhaha

For a party that won a majority in the lower house, Italy’s centre-left has done about as badly in the post-election bargaining as possible, writes Charles Richardson.

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Comedian holds balance of power in Italy, but no one’s laughing

Eight million Italians used their votes to send a message to the major parties by voting for comedian Beppe Grillo. But no one expected he would win. Rome-based journalist Josephine McKenna asks Italians: what now?

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Richard Farmer chunky bits

Are tax policies really the most effective policy to increase retirement savings? Plus other political issues of the day.

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What the Ford ads say about advertising’s boys’ club

The real issue with the offensive Ford ads is not that they were leaked to the internet. It’s that they were created at all, writes Crikey publisher Marina Go.

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Eurozone set for more pain — and it’s Italy’s fault

Italian voters have rejected austerity, opting instead for Berlusconi and comedian Beppe Grillo at the weekend’s election. This will not end well for the Italian economy, or the eurozone.

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Elections don’t solve Italy’s chaos (or get rid of Silvio)

Italy has once again expressed a deep desire to fail to come to grips with its deep political and structural problems, says Crikey’s man in Europe. Silvio Berlusconi is still standing.

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Italian-Australians could kick Berlusconi to the kerb once and for all

Italian-Australians will join the rest of Italy in going to the polls this week. The fate of Silvio Berlusconi — and EU financial markets — are at stake. Italian-Australian academic Dr Bruno Mascitelli writes on the choice.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

Despite spotlight, little hope for Berlusconi political resurrection

Despite international fascination with Silvio Berlusconi, there is little sign of Italians being willing to award him a fourth term in office, writes Charles Richardson.

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Bunga bunga actress stars in Berlusconi political encore

As Berlusconi launches into his daring bid to be prime minister for the fourth time, he is making his own kind of cameo. How does he get away with it? Josephine McKenna reports from Rome.

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‘The only thing that can save us from Berlusconi is his death’

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has ended months of speculation and dramatically declared a return to Italian politics. So what’s ‘Il Cavaliere’ up to, asks Josephine McKenna.

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Hold the champagne corks, Berlusconi ain’t leaving yet

Italy’s former PM Silvio Berlusconi had been sentenced to jail — yet he’s already discussing his political comeback. And he’s got some supporters, writes Josephine McKenna from Rome.

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Will Bauer rein in ACP’s at-times cowgirl approach?

Are we about to get a highly principled magazine publisher and owner in the German group, Bauer, which is about to take control of ACP Magazines?

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The joke’s on Monti as Berlusconi readies to run for PM

Silvio Berlusconi has re-emerged from the shadows to declare himself a candidate for prime minister next year, writes Josephine McKenna, an Australian freelance journalist in Rome.

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Hi ho Silvio, a way … to come back as a minister

In the past couple of weeks he has been staging a highly manipulative resurrection of sorts, writes Josephine McKenna, an Australian freelance journalist in Rome

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Merkel cool on fund flexibility as leaders back growth package

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to a meeting of European leaders in Rome on Friday, she already had her eye on the exit, writes Josephine McKenna, an Australian freelance journalist in Rome.

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Grey-haired comic becomes the face of Italy’s disaffected

Beppe Grillo is an unlikely political hero. He is a comedian with a caustic wit better suited to stand-up rather than the Italian parliament, writes Josephine McKenna, an Australian freelance journalist in Rome.

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As Italian labour reforms come to a head, jobs are hard to find

The Prime Minister’s main focus now is Article 18 of the labour code, which means firms with more than 15 workers cannot sack employees without risking legal action, writes Josephine McKenna, an Australian freelance journalist in Rome.

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In Italy turning a blind eye has become an artform

Italy’s credit rating may be heading south and plenty of businesses are struggling to survive, but in a country where so much is hidden, there is often growth where you don’t see it, writes Jo McKenna, a Rome-based freelance journalist.

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Monti woos with his package, unlike Silvio, who ‘who hooed’ with his

There wasn’t an empty seat in the house when Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti greeted an eager foreign press yesterday with his €30 billion emergency package, writes Josephine McKenna, a freelance journalist in Rome.

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Europe’s stuck, nothing changes in Italy, and the Pope must die

So Europe remains stuck in a common currency whose structural flaws it cannot resolve — and certainly cannot resolve without major reform in Italy, where the breathing space offered by the appointment of Mario Monti has been resisted.

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