Friday, 23 February 2007

Prodi: hanging by a string

Romano Prodi's fate will be decided this weekend after his resignation was handed in only a couple days ago. The Italian prime minister was only recently voted into office, leading a center-left coalition that is fractured at best. His opponents, including rival Silvio Burlesconi, have taken advantage of messy Italian politics in this latest chapter in Italy's far-from-great recent governmental record.


Italy's president will decide on Saturday whether Romano Prodi deserves another chance to lead the nation as prime minister after a Senate rebellion forced his shock resignation.

Prodi's allies insist they have mended his center-left coalition, whose spectacular collapse during a foreign policy vote on Wednesday raised the specter of snap elections after just nine months in office.

President Giorgio Napolitano is not expected to send Italians back to the ballot box, but he kept the country guessing on Friday after concluding long two days of crisis talks with party leaders and elder statesmen.

I doubt the president will make a rash move. That would only worsen the situation for years to come, no matter who succeeds Prodi, assuming he goes. Maybe Prodi's successor will be a vibrant, clean politician, able to work across party lines to help Italy. Maybe Prodi will stay and trouble will continue. Maybe he will be replaced by a bureaucratic grunt or political hack or someone just like himself. As the Reuters article says, President Napolitano is keeping us all guessing.

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