Italy’s ‘winter of discontent’ just got a little worse. As if the bad publicity from a waning economy and continual price hikes, corrupt politicians, mamma’s boys and daddy’s girls, and none other than a full-out trash emergency wasn’t enough, now Italians have to come to terms with yet another government collapse.
Following the resignation of Justice minister Clemente Mastella and the unexpected withdrawal from Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition on January 21, the two-time premier immediately called for a vote of confidence in the House and Senate. However, his already fragile government—rife with internal bickering and backbiting since its rise to power 20 months ago—suffered the defection of three key Udeur allies and was defeated in the Senate by 6 votes. Losing 155 to 161 in the Senate on January 24, Prodi, immediately resigned, marking the fall of Italy’s 61st government since 1945.