Italy: Berlusconi announces new government

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Silvio Berlusconi, 71, accepted the office of Italian Prime Minister, after two days of consultations led by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.

During a press conference, shortly after the talks with Napolitano, Berlusconi presented his cabinet: there will be 21 ministers, including four women. Among them, 12 will come from Forza Italia, Berlusconi's party, 4 from National Alliance, 4 from Lega Nord and 1 from Christian Democracy for the Autonomies.

This will be Berlusconi's fourth term in office. According to Donato Marra, secretary-general of the presidency, Berlusconi and his cabinet will be sworn in tomorrow at 5:00 pm. The new government will then face a vote of confidence in Parliament, where his centre-right coalition holds a majority. Later in the evening, Berlusconi is planning to announce the first Council of Ministers.


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