It is exactly 10 years since Romano Prodi began his first stint as Italy’s Prime Minister.
Now he has named the man who succeeded him, Massimo d’Alema, as his new Foreign Minister.
D’Alema, from the biggest party in Prodi’s bloc, the Democrats of the Left, will also share the role of Deputy Prime Minister with Daisy Party leader Francesco Rutelli.
D’Alema was premier from October 1998 to April 2000, overseeing the deployment of Italian peacekeeping troops in Kosovo.
One of his first dossiers will be Iraq. The coalition is committed to withdrawing the 2,600 Italian troops still stationed there.
Another former premier, Giuliano Amato, becomes Interior Minister. He built his political career in the now defunct Italian Socialist Party and headed the last leftwing governnment that Silvio Berlusconi defeated in 2001.
The 68-year-old is nicknamed “dottor Sottile” which means both Dr Thin and Dr. Subtle.
The new Economy and Finance Minister is Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa. His closeness to Romano Prodi saw him miss out on becoming head of the Bank of Italy last year, but it was there that he won his reputation as a monetary policy expert.
He has also worked at the European Commission and the European Central Bank, and was a strong supporter of the single currency from the start.
Officially Emma Bonino is happy with her new job as European Affairs Minister. In reality she had badly wanted the defence portfolio, but the two small Communist parties objected to her pro-US stance and her support of the Iraq war.
Bonino, 58, is no stranger to Brussels; she was formerly the European Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Fisheries and the European Community Humanitarian Office.