BRUSSELS — European policy makers should be asking themselves, "Who lost Italy?" after a grass-roots revolt against austerity, unemployment and the political elite caused an electoral earthquake in the country, the third-largest economy in the euro zone.
Instead, most still insist that their policy mix for fighting the currency area's debt crisis is right, even though the latest E.U. forecasts have pushed any prospect of meaningful economic recovery in southern Europe back into the middle distance.
A surge in support for the anti-euro populist Beppe Grillo and the surprise resurrection of the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on an anti-austerity platform in the election last week have forced Rome into political deadlock.