Return of Politics: Chronology of Italian Political Events, 1998by David Hine (Editor), Salvatore Vassallo (Editor)
By the spring of 1998, it had become clear that Italy, after considerable effort, had succeeded in bringing its public finances into line with the Maastricht parameters for joining the European Monetary Union. This was generally viewed as an important success of the Olive Tree coalition government led by Romano Prodi, and a sign that Italian political life had become "normal." Nevertheless, the Bicameral Commission, which should have fostered a radical consitutional reform with the aim to stabilize and strengthen the bipolar structure of the party system and the majoritarian functioning of democracy in Italy, was dismantled in June. Moreover, in October 1998 the Prodi government suddenly collapsed because of the internal opposition of the Neo-Communist wing of its parliamentary majority, a further demonstration that the Italian transition towards a more effective democratic rule is far from complete.
David Hine is Fellow and Senior Censor at Christ Church College, Oxford.
Salvatore Vassallo is senior civil servant in the Emilia-Romagna regional government's Institutional Affairs Bureau and Professor of Public Policy Analysis at the University of Trento.
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