After weeks of political uncertainty, Romano Prodi has finally taken office, sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister.
He faced the president to take the customary oath at a ceremony in Rome, along with members of his new government named earlier in the day.
Prodi must win a confidence vote in the Senate on Thursday and another in the lower house next week before fully taking charge.
Members of his patchwork coalition had been bickering over ministerial portfolios since winning a narrow election victory over Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right alliance five weeks ago.
The internal haggling has highlighted problems Prodi is likely to face as he takes office. The new prime minister has sought to please everyone on the centre-left spectrum, from Communists to Roman Catholic centrists.
He said the result was “a real team – not just a group of individuals”.
But Prodi has fallen short on his pledge to make a third of his cabinet women however with just six of the 25 posts going to female politicians.