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Italy’s dysfunctional politics

Italy's economy was already weak before the pandemic, but saw a nearly 9-point decline in GDP over the past year. While unemployment was dropping from a decade high reached in 2014, it was still around 10% in early 2020. And if you don't like Italy's political leaders…just wait a minute. They'll change. In fact, since 1989 the country has had 18 prime ministers. By comparison, Germany has had only three chancellors and France just five presidents. Can Italy's new Prime Minister pull the country out of its political tailspin? Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Italy in Europe's spotlight: insights from former PM Enrico Letta

Why Italy's third COVID lockdown is different

A year ago, a horrific series of photos of overflowing hospitals in Italy's Lombardy region made many Americans realize that this pandemic was going to have devastating results. And now, over 100,000 deaths later, Italy is entering its third lockdown. But this time is different, says former Prime Minister Enrico Letta, because now a lockdown doesn't mean a total economic shutdown. And there's hope on the horizon, as long as the country can get its act together on the vaccines front.

Letta's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of a new episode of GZERO World, which began airing on US public television stations nationwide on Friday, March 26. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Italy in Europe's spotlight: insights from former PM Enrico Letta

AstraZeneca vaccine politics may further damage Europe's economy

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on the latest news in global politics on World In :60 - that is, :180.


First. What is going on with the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Well, around Europe, we have all of these countries that have suspended giving out AstraZeneca vaccines, because there have been some side effects of people that are taking it. Blood clots, a tiny number of folks, actually fewer side effects for AstraZeneca than we've seen for Pfizer, but it's become this big political show. After a few countries start shutting it down, others do because they can't be left by themselves. I just talked to a major senior official from one country saying, "Yeah, we were under pressure. We want to keep it going." World Health Organization said it's fine. AstraZeneca itself who has done the trials, say it's fine. And this is slowing down an already very slow vaccine rollout in Europe. They were doing a lot of things reasonably well in terms of dealing with the pandemic, but absolutely not this. They're a couple of months behind the United States right now in terms of getting to herd immunity. This is going to slow them down. It's going to hurt their economic growth this year. Okay.

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Mario Draghi will become Italy's new PM; EU weighs Myanmar reaction

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:

What's happening in Italy and can Mario Draghi fix it?

Mario Draghi will now take over political leadership of Italy as prime minister. That's a very major development. He has a lot of credibility in Europe, certainly, but also in Italy. And I think that he will now have a political momentum for at least a couple of months that I hope that he can use to press through some of these fundamental economic and other reforms that Italy and equally Europe so desperately needs. It's a very major development indeed.

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Interview with ECB's Christine Lagarde, behind Europe’s united economic COVID response

In an extended interview with GZERO World, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde joins Ian Bremmer to explain how European nations were able to overcome political divisions and act quickly to prevent an all-out economic catastrophe on the continent.

European Central Bank president: the dangers of “hubris” on the global stage

What most worries European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde about the future of the global economic recovery? "Hubris," she tells Ian Bremmer in a new GZERO World interview. Hubris on an individual and national scale.

Watch the episode: Christine Lagarde, Leading Europe's United Economic Pandemic Response

Christine Lagarde, leading Europe’s united economic pandemic response

The coronavirus pandemic threatened to bring Europe's economy to its knees. Then something remarkable happened: 27 member states came together. Joining GZERO World with Ian Bremmer is the individual at the heart of that response, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. She'll explain how European nations were able to overcome political divisions and act quickly to prevent an all-out economic catastrophe on the continent.

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