Italian Prime Minister hands in resignation
February 21, 2007 4:27pm CST
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has handed his resignation to the country's president after losing a crucial foreign policy vote in the Senate. President Giorgio Napolitano is now expected to hold talks with political leaders before reaching a decision. He could accept the resignation or ask Mr Prodi to stay in power. In the vote, several of Mr Prodi's coalition partners opposed troop deployments in Afghanistan and plans to expand a US airbase in northern Italy. It is not a foregone conclusion that the government will fall. Mr Napolitano has several options, of which dissolving parliament and calling new elections is the most radical. We are ready to renew our full confidence in Prodi said Dario Franceschini, from Coalition leader in lower house A spokesman for the prime minister said Mr Prodi needed the full support of the coalition if he was to continue. "Prodi has acknowledged this is a serious crisis and he doesn't have a majority in the Senate," Silvio Sircana said. "He is ready to carry on as prime minister if, and only if, he is guaranteed the full support of all the parties in the majority from now on." The coalition's leader in the lower house of parliament, Dario Franceschini, said the main parties in the coalition would continue to back him. "We are ready to renew our full confidence in Prodi," he said. "Let's hope the consultations will be useful to clear things up." Mr Prodi's foreign minister had earlier said the government could resign if it lost the parliamentary motion. The announcement of the result of the vote was met by shouts of "resign! resign!" by right-wing senators. The sitting was suspended shortly afterwards. Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema had urged senators to approve the motion - which is non-binding - saying unity was crucial for Italy to retain its place on the world stage. The motion asked the Senate to approve the government's foreign policy, a policy which it said was inspired by a repudiation of war and respect for the role of the EU, UN and international alliances. It received 158 votes in favour, just short of the majority of 160 needed for approval, while 136 members of the conservative opposition voted against the motion. Some 24 senators decided to abstain from the vote. What do you think? I am an italian citizen, living in Italy and I am not so proud about our politic men and our government. It is composed from too much different mind people and I hope that a more stable government will take its place! But maybe tomorrow and in the future days we will have the same government, because Prodi will change rules about all ministers to still have majority and stay on its place. I think they are not doing our interests but their only objective is to have power and hold government. How USA people are perceiving this news? Is it correct D'Alema decision (our foreign countries minister) or not? Should we close our Vicenza USA military base or should we allow USA to magnify it? I think we need USA's protection, we must have thankfulness versus USA because they helped us in the second world war! What is your point of view?