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Renita Jablonski: Italians go to the polls this weekend. Just like in the U.S., the economy is a big issue. As the same old politicians promise change, most Italians are worrying about how they'll make it to the end of the year. Megan Williams reports.

Megan Williams: No matter who wins the elections, Italy's in for a rough economic ride. Its debt outsizes the value of its economy; growth is expected to slow to zero; and the middle class is slipping towards poverty.

No surprise the economic plans proposed by both right-wing billionaire candidate Silvio Berlusconi and the left leader Walter Veltroni are virtually the same. Aid to struggling families and tiny breaks for businesses. All Italy can afford at this point. Political expert Luisa Cordova says Italy's financial woes give Berlusconi the edge because he's lowered taxes in the past.

Luisa Cordova: Even if he's not promising that in this election, Berlusconi is the one that cut taxes.

Whoever wins Monday is likely to face tough times, just like Italy itself.

In Rome, I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.