Just so our fellow US citizens know we share the pain of government ineptitude, here’s a quote from the news here:
Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta told a cabinet meeting -- tasked with approving key measures to rein in the recession-hit country's budget deficit -- that no further legislation would be enacted until the political crisis was resolved. The cabinet had convened to figure out how to delay a controversial planned rise in a sales tax, but escalating tension over former premier Silvio Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction saw it end in disarray. "I have no intention of limping along or being the subject of continuous threats," Letta said in a statement. "Either we go forward, and the interests of the country and citizens are put first, or this experience ends here."
Perhaps Showdown = Shutdown in Italy as well.