The results of the Italian elections of February 24 and 25 have put Brussels and its partners in Rome in an embarrassing situation. The election revives the debate on the austerity policies advocated by the European Commission and Germany, which have been denounced by the two winners in the election, former PM Silvio Berlusconi and Five Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo.

The EU confirmed it heard "the message of concern" from Italians regarding austerity, but, like Berlin, it has nevertheless repeated its call for further fiscal efforts.

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