More than a year ago, at the height of the Italian fiscal crisis, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign. And when Mario Monti was appointed to succeed him, there was a collective sigh of relief, as the Italians marked the end of an era. He had never run for office -- instead he was appointed by the president and the parliament. He was an outsider to local politics, with a solid background in the European Union halls of power, a man many thought was their only hope out of the mess.
(The last time Berlin and Rome teamed up, the world had no idea how catastrophic the consequences would be. History is repeating itself.)
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