Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has been holding crisis talks with political leaders to decide on the future government after the resignation of Prime Minister Romano Prodi. If the President believes Prodi has not got enough support he could choose another leader and appoint a government of experts.
It is widely expected he will give Prodi another go with a new coalition which could include the Christian Democrats.
Lorenzo Cesa of the Christian Democrats warned
against reinstating Prodi:
“If we want to act in the interests of the country, I do not think a second Prodi coalition is a good idea, quite the contrary. We have to avoid it at all costs. It would mean continuing this situation for another four or five more months and not giving the country a solution.”
Roberto Calderoli from the far-right Northern League party called for parliament to be dissolved:
“We have asked for early elections. If it is not possible to govern the country, you go to the polls.”
Piero Fassino, leader of the main party in Prodi’s coalition, called for allies to rally around:
“We can only continue governing and resume the work of the executive run by Romano Prodi if we have the full and loyal support of everyone.”
If Napolitano cannot wrest an agreement out of the main players, he could call elections ahead of time, although analysts say this is an unlikely result.
The president will continue his talks into a second day. He will then have to take a decision on the future shape of Italy’s government.