Monday, December 19, 2005

The Unbearable Lightness of Being an Official in Italy

In 'normal' countries, institutions abide by certain rules of fairness: a politician must be able to show that his private interest does not overlap with his public function. Moreover, when a representative of an institution lacks public legitimacy to the point of being attacked by the majority and the minority of the country in equal measure, that person gives up his position.

In Italy, it is the other way round. The prime minister has an overt and unforgivable conflict of interest. And the president of the central bank, Anotnio Fazio, lacks legitimacy on every front. But he does not want to quit.

This is the scenario in Italy, 4 months before general elections.

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