2004: A Year “On Hold”

in Italian Politics
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From the vantage point of early 2005, it seems probable that the year

that has just come to an end will be looked back on by future historians

as one of little change in Italian politics. There are at least three reasons

for thinking this. One is that 2004 was yet another year in which the

regime transition on which the political system appeared to embark in

the early 1990s failed to show any real signs of coming to an end. If,

by definition, the conclusion to such a process requires constitutional

overhaul sufficiently widely accepted that it can survive, then the government-

sponsored proposals presented to the Senate in March seemed

unlikely to deliver this. Not only were there question marks at the end

of the year as to whether the proposals could complete their parliamentary

passage before the end of the legislature, but even if they do,

it is unlikely, as Vassallo argues in his contribution to this volume, that

the process of constitutional change will end there.