Former comedian Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement party, leaves a polling station after casting his ballot on Feb. 25. Grillo’s party stunned observers by winning about 25 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections held on Sunday and Monday. (AFP/Getty Images)
Europe was stunned yesterday when elections in Italy saw a huge number of Italians rejecting the budget cuts and reforms of former Prime Minister Mario Monti. The outcome of the election, with the three contenders essentially deadlocked, has re-ignited the crisis in the eurozone. Italian stocks and government bonds fell today amid fears that Italy may abandon the euro and return to the lira. But the more immediate concern is: Who will lead Italy? It’s unlikely that Silvio Berlusconi, or the other two contenders, will be able to form a government. And it’s even less likely that the president will appoint another ‘caretaker’ government.
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