Italy fiscal struggles raise new fears over creditworthiness

Mask of respectability

Mario Draghi, outgoing governor of Italy’s central bank

In December 2004 Italy completed a 113-mile motorway across the island of Sicily, stretching from Palermo to Messina. Erecting a motorway across the island was a lesson in engineering, since the landscape forced much of the road onto stilts. It was a signal of progress and makes for impressive viewing.

At over three decades of work, however, it was a slow kind of progress. Hampered by all sorts of local obstructions and, the press often assumed, by local mafia roadblocks, the final part of the mo

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