He has only just returned to power but Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s political woes are hitting hard once again. His government is coming under scrutiny over the release of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who was kidnapped by the Taliban. The US and Britain have criticised the deal which led to the reporter being freed by his captors in Afghanistan. Five members of the Taliban were released in exchange.
But Prodi is also coming under renewed pressure at home. The centre-right opposition parties have indicated they could withdraw their support from the government in a vote on Tuesday on keeping Italian troops in Afghanistan. The opposition has also condemned the government over its role in the release of Mastrogiacomo. A vote on financing the deployment was what caused the recent collapse of the government.