Italian elections are a confusing phenomenon, at best. A mass of parties and coalitions hold together for the elections, but start cracking apart as soon as actual bills and policies have to be agreed upon. This year, the country went to the polls on February 24 and 25, after a little more than a year of a technocratic government following Berlusconi's downfall amid the euro crisis in November 2011.
The vote ended without a party winning a clear mandate from voters with comedian and blogger Beppe Grillo and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi finishing better than many expected behind Pier Luigi Bersani.
DW talked with political experts, psychologists, market researchers, and some Italians themselves to find out more about the vote that will make waves outside Italy.
President Francois Hollande says France is acting against terrorism in the face of threats. Prime Minister Manuel Valls says France will not negotiate with a group that took a hiker hostage in Algeria on Sunday.
Spain's conservative government has abandoned plans for more restrictive laws on abortion. The proposal's champion, Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, has resigned in protest.
People are living in fear in the areas of eastern Ukraine under pro-Russian separatist control. Human rights activists have sounded the alarm amid reports of widespread physical abuse and arbitrary punishment.
Our reporter Annabelle Steffes was on location in Munich – these are her experiences from the opening weekend of the Wiesn.