• Reuters

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Italy opens the Milan Expo on Friday, torn between hopes that the showcase of global culture and technology will cheer up a gloomy national mood and fears that it will be overshadowed by scandal, delays and street protests.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who is counting on the Expo to reinforce fragile signs of economic recovery, says the event will be a litmus test for the future of Italy after years of stagnation and recession.

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