Caving in to pressure: why Mario Monti’s technocrats couldn’t repair Italy after Silvio Berlusconi’s government collapsed

Elsa Fornero, an academic whose job it was to modernise a rigid labour market, tells Michael Day what went wrong

Editorial: The fatal attraction of Silvio Berlusconi

For a country that has so much going for it, in the way of lifestyle, landscape and flair, Italy has an infuriating knack of doing just the wrong thing. And the fear must be, as Italians prepare to vote in elections that are as crucial for the European Union as they are for Italy, that the country is reverting to type.

After Berlusconi, Beppe should be just what Italy needs. And yet...

Honest, inexperienced politicians may not be the answer for a nation on the edge of economic disaster. Plus, the rise of Japan's concrete jungle

Here comes a chopper... After arms chiefs are accused of bribery in a $750m AgustaWestland deal

Andrew Buncombe reports on a history of corruption in India

Italy arrests Finmeccanica defence boss in helicopter bribes probe

The boss of Italy’s biggest defence company, Finmeccanica, and the top executive at its helicopter division, AgustaWestland, were arrested today in a corruption probe.

Silvio Berlusconi's political opponents have suggested that Mario Balotelli's move to AC Milan might have motivations beyond the football field

The Balotelli effect: Silvio Berlusconi surges ahead in polls weeks before Italian general election

A blitz of TV appearances, populist sound bites and even the signing of star striker Mario Balotelli for his AC Milan football club appear to have helped ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi surge in the polls, just three weeks ahead of a general election.

Bellydancer's disappearing act delays Berlusconi corruption trial

Karima El Mahroug was due to testify on today but did not provide any valid justification for her absence

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti intends to resign

Monti's vow to quit could bring Italian elections as early as February

Italy and Europe were tonight bracing themselves for a general election and the real possibility that the scandal-plagued billionaire Silvio Berlusconi could become prime minister for a fourth time.

Monti, stripped of Berlusconi's support, offers his resignation

Italian PM will stay in office only until austerity budget is passed
The openly gay, anti-mafia campaigner Rosario Crocetta took 31 per cent of the votes

Sicily's first gay governor opens a new schism between Italy's old enemies

Former bastion of homophobia has overtaken north on equality, says Milanese newspaper

Silvio Berlusconi passes a policeman outside Milan's justice court

Far from being a sideshow, Silvio Berlusconi's legal battles have dominated Italian politics for decades

The former President became a figure of ridicule and spawned a thousand other crooks

Pope's secret files has been found revealing Vatican scandals

Pope's butler found with thousands of secret papers

Documents tell tales of Vatican scandals, spies and secret societies, trial of Paolo Gabriele told

Giorgio Napolitano: The Italian President has demanded official clarification of why the raid went ahead

Italy attacks Cameron over high-risk rescue operation

President criticises 'inexplicable' failure to inform Italian authorities before SBS hostage raid

An activist set fire to tyres during a protest last week against the rail tunnel in northern Italy

Italy erupts over plans for high-speed rail link

Locals plan a general strike over decision to construct an Alpine tunnel through to France, that they say will cause huge environmental damage

A politician of unimpeachable integrity: Scalfaro in 2006

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro: Former president of Italy, renowned for his honesty

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro was a Catholic politician whose anachronistic virtues, in particular his complete honesty and his commitment to the constitution, came to Italy's rescue during the gravest political crisis of the post-war era, the corruption scandal which erupted in 1993.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn