Italian prime minister Romano Prodi has made a crucial address to the Senate ahead of a vote of confidence on Wednesday. Prodi has been given a second chance after his centre-left government was forced to resign last week following defeat over a major foreign policy vote on Afghanistan.
Referring back to the very matter of dissension Prodi said:
“The aim of our presence in Afghanistan is to assist and support the development of the country’s young, democratic institutions. Our soldiers in Afghanistan, like in other missions abroad, are bearers of a culture of dialogue and not of confrontation.”
Prodi promised that his absolute priority would be to reform electoral laws widely seen as favouring broad coalitions that make the country ungovernable.
“Electoral law reforms should be the result of wide-ranging agreement, in the same way constitutional changes should never be decided by a majority alone.”
After the speech Prodi said he was confident he would win the vote in the upper house, where he only commands a very narrow majority.
If he succeeds, there is little doubt he will pass the hurdle in the chamber of deputies where he enjoys much wider support.