Premier Romano Prodi sailed through a confidence vote in the House on Friday, ending a nine-day crisis that could have toppled his already fragile government. The centre-left premier won the ballot with 342 votes in favour, 253 against, and two abstentions. ‘It was a good vote with a great margin. Above all, the week long debate showed that the centre left is much more united and compact than the centre right. Government action will now be stronger’, Prodi said after the victory. ‘The government has gone through a critical period from which I’m convinced it will emerge stronger and more united’, he added.