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As Italians are about to vote in what some have dubbed 'the most important election in 30 years', the future of the country is as uncertain as ever.
Stuck between an industrialist North and a poorer South, torn apart by merciless markets and internal dysfunction, trapped between a failed 'Super Mario' technocratic government and Italian politics-as-usual - it's impossible to predict what Italy will look like in a year – or a week.
Is Beppe Grillo's 'anti-politics' movement losing its novelty effect? Could Berlusconi make a predictable, yet spectacular comeback? Will Monti enter a coalition with Bersani's Democrats? Will a rise of smaller parties contribute to the fractionalisation of Italian politics? And could extreme factions benefit from the overall cacophony?In short - how did Italy get here, and can it get back on track?
A selection of our articles on Italy from the last year.