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Democratic Party head Matteo Renzi smiles during a press conference he held at the end of a meeting with former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, in Rome, Saturday, Jan. 18.
Democratic Party head Matteo Renzi smiles during a press conference he held at the end of a meeting with former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, in Rome, Saturday, Jan. 18.
(Roberto Monaldo/AP)

ERIC REGULY

Italy's rot runs too deep for a quick fix

Italy has produced five prime ministers in six years. The latest came in on Saturday, when the 39-year-old mayor of Florence and new leader of the centre left Partito Democratico (PD), Matteo Renzi, was sworn in. Like each of his predecessors, he promised to save Italy from itself. The political, legislative and economic systems would be overhauled. The incessant rot that was threatening to turn the euro zone’s third largest economy into a sunny Mediterranean backwater, dotted with the palaces of Renaissance popes and modern-day Mafiosi, would be halted.