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What is the importance of these regional elections? Of course, being unable to enter big regional elections is always bad for a party, it reduces seats and so on. But does the regions have any power that relates to the issues that appears to always be on Berlusconi's mind - the prosecutions against him for his various crimes?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 04:07:50 AM EST
Regional elections are very important in Italy not only as a midterm test of the national government and the effective weight of the opposition but above all because Italian regions wield enormous power in administering regional budgets on such money makers as national health and public tenders.

In Lazio the key battle is the enormous public health system debt that involves the Angelucci clan and its Vatican allies that support the rightwing candidate. With the leftwing government of Piero Marrazzo they were able to get their way presumably through their knowledge of Marrazzo's sexual inclinations. If the Radical candidate Emma Bonino wins, this power group will likely be heavily penalized.

In Lombardy there is Milan Expo in 2012. Whoever runs the region will favour his own clans.

It boils down to sheer greed, corruption versus a modicum of honest governance.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Mar 13th, 2010 at 05:35:46 AM EST
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