In Italy, it seemed some dressed a little hurriedly in their enthusiasm to cast their ballots. Here too polling is taking place over two days, and people are also voting in regional elections.
The economy and immigration were the big issues during campaigning, with the country remaining deeply divided along traditional left-right lines. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s personal life has loomed large over the election. Photos of topless women at his villa published in recent days in a Spanish newspaper ensured it remained on the agenda. He has threatened legal action over the pictures, which he branded an invasion of privacy. He has accused Italian and foreign media of mounting a campaign against him. But the outspoken premier enjoys strong support across much of the country.