Prodi wins vote of confidence

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Romano Prodi.

Romano Prodi, prime minister of Italy, won a confidence vote in the Italian Senate, after attempting to resign last week. His victory means that the l'Unione coalition of leftist parties will remain in power. The vote was 162-157.

Justice minister Clemente Mastella reacted in an interview: "This government is like the Tower of Pisa. It leans, leans, but never falls."

The expected vote in the Chamber of Deputies on Friday is expected to be only a formality, since Prodi has a much more comfortable coalition there.

Prodi faced competition from the opposition centre-right Casa delle Libertà coalition, led by former prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi. Despite the win, l'Unione's hold on the Senate is weak, due to the narrowness of its majority.

Prodi had tendered his resignation to Italian president Giorgio Napolitano on February 21, but Napolitano rejected the resignation on February 24, leading to a vote of confidence for Prodi in the Italian Senate.

Main contentions between the coalitions include the presence of Italian military units in Iraq and Afghanistan and Italy's relations with the United States.

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