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Italy's President Dissolves Parliament: Elections on March 4

• https://www.themaven.net, by Mike Mish Shedlock

The Wall Street Journal reports Italy's President Calls National Elections as Country Grapples With Economic Pain.

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament Thursday and called elections for early March, a vote that will highlight the economic and political problems still stalking Europe and the country's role as the weakest flank in the currency union.

The vote—the latest in a series of momentous elections in Europe—will be in line with the overwhelming trends of 2017, featuring a fractured electorate, continued pressure from populist movements and predictions of a struggle to form a cohesive government.

Its economy is 6% smaller than at the start of 2008, making it the only G-7 economy not to have returned to its pre-crisis size.

In a speech a decade ago as head of Italy's industry association, Luca di Montezemolo, former chairman of Fiat SpA, listed 10 urgent reforms Italian businesses wanted from the government, including a leaner bureaucracy and lower taxes. "I could give that same speech today," he said in an interview.

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