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Polls Against Berlusconi as Italians Vote

Prodi supporters wear T-shirts that, loosely translated, proclaim: "I'm a moron." Berlusconi used a vulgar term that equates to moron to describe anyone who could vote for his rival.
Sylvia Poggioli, NPR
Prodi supporters wear T-shirts that, loosely translated, proclaim: "I'm a moron." Berlusconi used a vulgar term that equates to moron to describe anyone who could vote for his rival.
A Berlusconi supporter waves a huge flag proclaiming her allegiance to the prime minister.
Sylvia Poggioli, NPR /
A Berlusconi supporter waves a huge flag proclaiming her allegiance to the prime minister.

Italians vote Sunday and Monday in what is seen as a referendum on the conservative government of their prime minister, the media tycoon-turned-politican Silvio Berlusconi.

His chief rival -- leading in the polls -- is softspoken Romano Prodi, former European Union commissioner and also a former prime minister. Prodi heads a center-left coalition. The campaign has been tense and strident. Results are expected Monday night.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.