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On December 4, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi mandated a referendum for a major constitutional reform. The goal was remove certain powers from the Senate—the upper house of the national legislature—so as to establish sole approval power in the lower house and expedite the legislative process. A powerful movement against the referendum was led by populist coalition Five Star Movement, reflective of a global trend of increased populism in national governments over the world. The results mirrored this: 60% of referendum voters chose to reject the measure, causing Renzi to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella the following day and offer his resignation. However, the referendum results have not just shaken Renzi's political career; Italy's entire future now lays in the balance, with several potential crises at hand.  Questions have risen over probable political changes, the future of Italy's place in the European Union, and the effects on the banking system.

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The lackluster global economy is now going on its fifth year and new information suggests that it is still a series of ebbs and flows. Economists’ predictions about the United States’ fourth quarter growth was off by over a percent and the U.S. experienced a contraction of the economy for the first time in a few years. The unemployment rate ticked up .1% to 7.9%, not the kind of news a recovering economy wants.

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When choosing a major, one that most students do not consider is ice cream making. However, in Italy it is a field of study that has seen an increase in enrollment.

There is one university located close to Carpigiani that is dedicated to instructing in gelato making. Since the economic downturn has started it has seen an 89% increase in enrollment. Many executives who have been laid off from all over the world have been looking into switching their career to ice cream making and opening their own gelaterie in their home countries.

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The European Commission recently funded a five year project that was completed during fall 2009 - the ENSEMBLES project. Its purpose was to develop a prediction system to provide relevant information on climate change and its interactions with society. According to a report submitted by the scientists who worked on the project, France, Italy, and Spain are some of the countries that will most likely experience great changes by the end of the century due to climate changes.

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In a small village in Italy, one entrepreneur decided to start a business in an unusual location - a castle. With workers not having to clock in, the atmosphere is quite different than other typical factories. Brunello Cucinello's cashmere factory has been extremely successful. The full story can be found in a video from BBC NEWS.

It is surprising to many how well the business is doing because of the untraditional way it is run. Is it possible for other businesses to adopt similar working conditions and be this successful?

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Each country has different ways of doing business. Sometimes it may be confusing for foreigners visiting the country for the first time. What follows is tips on doing business successfully in some of the most advanced countries in Europe: