Austerity is tempting Italy's democracy

Italy's elections have revealed the country's low tolerance for traditional democracy in the face of determination to reject austerity. A moment of truth for Europe is surely approaching.

The turmoil produced by the Italian elections has directed attention back to where it should have been all along – to the politics of the eurozone crisis. We have had six months of complacency, rising stock markets and wishful thinking. The conventional wisdom was that the crisis had been contained, with Ireland recovering and the risk of a Greek exit from the eurozone reduced. But this view always ignored the politics.

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