The political centre is unstable; an amalgam of compromises and contradictions.  The European Union, both at federal and national level thrives on the centre-ground, where compromise is seen as a triumph of the political art. Coalitions, both regular and grand, are seemingly the hallmark of modern European democracies. 

Italy has just formed its own grand coalition, comprising parties of the right, left and centre. European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, h...

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