When Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned two weeks ago, the political upheaval that ensued forced President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi to request that Berlusconi form a new temporary government to carry out the term until the elections set for next year.
The reorganised government that was then proposed included, for the most part, the same faces as the old majority centre-right coalition but with changed titles and functions. Regardless of opposition by the minority centre-left coalition, the proposed government did win both Confidence votes held by the Senate and House last week.
This interim government has been established to deal with the political crisis that followed Berlusconi’s resignation, and will remain in power until the 2006 elections.
Upon approval of the new government, Berlusconi alluded to the fact that if Italy were capable of adopting a majority system, he would feel his job in politics to be accomplished and would possibly step down from his political career.
Berlusconi has faced severe criticism since an embarrassing defeat to the opposition minority in recent regional elections.
An ailing economy that continues to slide into negative numbers as well as an increasing opposition to Italy’s participation in the war in Iraq have also played a part in Berlusconi’s decline in popularity.