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.
Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier will take control of the Foreign Ministry for the second time under a grand coalition. But this time it will be harder to leave his mark - next to "foreign chancellor" Merkel.
EU finance ministers have reached agreement on how to set up an institution tasked with shutting down or propping up failing banks. It offers Brussels unprecedented powers aimed at preventing taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Germany's freshly re-inaugurated chancellor Angela Merkel has flown to Paris with her new foreign minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier. Both vowed to reinvigorate Europe's Franco-German "motor."
Your clothes may be trendy, but how smart are they? Designers have created trousers that can speak and jackets that are even capable of calling for help in an emergency. You may just have to rethink your wardrobe.