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Prodi wins confidence vote but faces further fights

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Prodi wins confidence vote but faces further fights


He has won the backing of parliament but Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has little time to relish his triumph. Looming on the horizon are similar battles to the one which led to his resignation last week.

His confirmation as Prime Minister came in a vote of confidence in the lower house, which he won comfortably. It followed a much closer victory in the Senate.

But today his centre-left allies have been banging the drum.

“There’s only one coalition capable of governing,” declared Piero Fassino. “It’s the centre-left – the one which won last year’s election.”

But his centre-right opponents, led by Silvio Berlusconi, have predicted a quick downfall.

He accused the government of undermining Italy through its internal divisions and instablility.

Prodi’s coalition faces an early test in the coming weeks when the Senate votes on financing the country’s military presence in Afghanistan, a mission opposed by some leftist senators.

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