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Land of Confusion

Continued confusion in Italy:

Temporary stands were erected in Rome's Piazza del Popolo on Monday to celebrate Mr Prodi's centre-left triumph foreshadowed both by opinion and exit polls. But the celebration was postponed.

Final results from the two-day vote indicated opposing factions will likely control the two houses of parliament, a recipe for political instability and paralysis that could force new elections.

The votes of Italians living outside Italy could be decisive for the Senate, but they were still not known last night. In the photo finish, Mr Prodi's centre-left Union group won the House of Deputies. But the centre-right had one more seat in the Senate before the choice of the six senators elected outside Italy was known.

If the seven life senators, such as former prime minister Giulio Andreotti, exercise their right to vote, they could also change the balance of power in the Senate.

And Italy doesn't even have a Florida.