2

Italy’s French Temptation

FLORENCE – Italy is once again being gulled by the false hope that if it can just “fix” its institutions, its politics will normalize. This time, it is the French model that is enticing Italy’s leaders.

Since February’s inconclusive general election, Italian lawmakers have managed to agree on only one thing: the reelection of 88-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano, which makes him the first two-term president since Italy abolished the monarchy in 1946. The main center-left and center-right parties that supported Napolitano – despite the protests of Beppe Grillo and his anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which won a quarter of the parliamentary vote – hope that he can oversee the creation of a broad-based coalition government.