Under many respects, Italy and France have a love-hate relationship.
For example, every time constitutional reforms are considered in Italy – and it happens often – the current French Fifth Republic is often pointed at as a possible model.
Now again, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his Minister for Reforms Maria Elena Boschi are proposing a French-style Senate elected by local Councils.
The right squarely rejected the proposal, but by theory Mr Renzi has enough MPs to force it through the Parliament. However, according to Italian practice constitutional reforms are preferably bipartisan. Moreover, Mr Renzi’s own Party presented an alternative proposal, the Chiti Bill, which is proving tempting for some MPs.