ITALY NEWS

Berlusconi quits, forms new government

Prime Minister forced to step down by coalition partners after serious losses in recent elections
(issue no. 2/2005 / April 28, 2005)

Silvio Berlusconi has already presented his new centre-right government coalition after he stepped down from his role as Prime Minister last week during Italy’s worst political crisis in the past four years.

 

Regional elections at the beginning of April resulted in a striking loss for Berlusconi’s centre-right party, losing all but two out of thirteen regions in the country. The consequence of this result was that other factions of his coalition began disputing whether they believed Berlusconi would be the best man to lead the centre-right into the 2006 election year. A confidence vote was to be held this week, but Berlusconi decided he would quit before the vote even took place. It was then up to him to form and present the new centre-right cabinet that would continue to lead the country. President Carlo D’Azeglio Ciampi must now give the approval for this new group.

 

Although this has been a dramatic week in Italian politics, it is not out of the ordinary for a Prime Minister to lose his job before his term has ended. In fact, Berlusconi is actually the longest lasting Prime Minister since 1945.

 

Centre-left opposition claims the new coalition is just a remixing of the same figures as before. Berlusconi’s main sustaining parties, The National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale) and the Northern League (Lega Nord) will both maintain important roles within the new government.

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