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Italian president starts crisis talks

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Italian president starts crisis talks


Italian president Giorgio Napolitano has started talks with political leaders to try to rescue his country from crisis after the resignation of Romano Prodi. The prime minister stepped down after losing a vote of confidence in the Senate on Thursday. The president is keen on changing his country’s complex electoral law before calling early elections as the opposition wants him to.

Renato Schifani, of Forza Italia, the party of ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said: “Electoral reform needs time. We’ve tried to do it, but the majority parties couldn’t find a common position.” Few question the need to update Italy’s electoral law which many blame for the country’s political instability.

Dario Franceschini, of the Democratic party, part of Prodi’s ruling coalition, says it remains to be seen who is willing and able to conduct the reform. “Because the way it is, whoever wins won’t be able to govern the nation,” he adds. “Some people want to change the rules to ensure stability. Others just want to take power as soon as possible.”

The president will try and see whether there is support for an interim government, whose main task would be to change Italy’s complex voting rules before sending the people back to the polls. The latest government, which collapsed after 20 months in power, was Italy’s 61st since World War Two.

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