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Economic experts and political commentators say the soft-spoken but authoritative technocrat has impressed an audience tired of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi’s histrionics, which failed to stave off market pressure.

“A week has been enough for the mood of public opinion to switch from depression to euphoria,” the pollsters said in their commentary, speaking of an “unprecedented majority” of support in postwar Italy.


Activists plan igloo camp at elite Alpine meeting

GENEVA — Activists inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement say they will follow the world’s political and business elite to their annual Alpine retreat in Switzerland in January.

Left-wing groups in Switzerland say their plans include building an igloo camp outside the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

The president of Switzerland’s Young Socialists party, David Roth, told the Associated Press that an open invitation was issued to activists around the world via social-networking sites Sunday.

Mr. Roth said the aim of the protest will be to draw attention to what he called the “undemocratic nature” of the Jan. 25-29 forum attended by heads of state and industry.

Activists have yet to receive permission from Davos authorities to stage the protest.


Poll: Confidence sliding on British economy

LONDON — Economic confidence among British voters has slumped, a poll out Sunday showed, with the majority believing that the economy will show no signs of improvement any time soon.

The survey by pollsters ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers found that 23 percent thought the economy would pick up soon, down from 67 percent in June 2009.

Some 55 percent thought it would not, up from 27 percent, while 22 percent did not express any opinion.

Asked whether the loss of hundreds of thousands of public-sector jobs is a price worth paying to reduce Britain’s budget deficit, 29 percent agreed and 51 percent disagreed.

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