In this Nov. 8, 2008 photo, Gabriele Albertini stands in front of the Milan gothic cathedral, Italy. Lombardy, Italy's most populous and economically productive region, is a key battleg

 

              In this Nov. 8, 2008 photo, Gabriele Albertini stands in front of the Milan gothic cathedral, Italy. Lombardy, Italy
In this Nov. 8, 2008 photo, Gabriele Albertini stands in front of the Milan gothic cathedral, Italy. Lombardy, Italy's most populous and economically productive region, is a key battleground in the upcoming national elections, with the regional race not only likely to determine who can most reliably govern the euro zone's third-largest economy but also testing emerging political alliances. Polls show that the center-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi and the center-left forces backing Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani's bid for premier are neck-and-neck in Lombardy, geographically centered around the financial and fashion capital Milan, marking the first time in the Berlusconi era that the left has had such a strong showing in region where the media mogul made his mark. Playing spoiler is former Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini, who after defecting from Berlusconi's People of Liberty Party in a spat has aligned himself with Premier Mario Monti's centrist forces. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)