Defeated, resigned, then brought back by presidential order. Now for Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi comes the real test: can he muster enough parliamentary votes this coming week to stay in power. “I’m always positive,” he told reporters after receiving President Napolitano’s assurance that he could stay on as Prime Minister.
But his tenure is subject to a confidence vote from both houses of parliament. And the senate vote could be a problem. “It’s clear that at the moment there’s no alternative to a new confidence vote,” said President Giorgio Napolitano after confirming that Prodi could stay on. “This is necessary to verify there is support for the government.”
Prodi’s mixed coalition can count on only a one-seat majority in the senate. And arch-rival and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is eager to take back the reins. “We will continue to protest vigorously, “ he told the media. “We will commit all our forces to returning a stable and reliable government back to the nation.” Prodi and his coalition will know this week whether they have the support of parliament. If not, Italy’s 61st government since 1945 will have to give way to the 62nd, after less than a year in office.