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The decline and fall of Italian politics

You know things are bad when the return of discredited, disgraced Silvio Berlusconi is almost reassuring. In January, John Hooper asked how Italy ended up here

By John Hooper   February 2018

In Italian politics, gerontocracy rules. Still. Photo: Getty

When Italy failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals, it inevitably caused shock, dismay and a bout of national soul-searching. The fortunes of a football-obsessed society had been entrusted to a 69-year-old coach, Giampiero Ventura, whose greatest sporting achievement had been to clinch the third-tier Serie C1 championship 21 years earlier. Why had he been hired, asked Carlo Garganese on the website Goal? His answer, like that of many Italians, was “because of who he knew rather than…

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