Romano Prodi is being offered the final say in all decisions to encourage him to remain Italian Prime Minister. His majority coalition allies have signed up to a pact giving Prodi the last word on, among other things, Italy’s international commitments including troops in Afghanistan, one of the disputes which brought his government down this week.
Piero Fassino, the secretary of the DS party, says all the political groups within Prodi’s Olive Branch, centre-left coalition, have given their full support to this new programme. Olivero Diliberto of the Italian Communist party was keen to reassure the Italian people that the politicians were working it out together.
The Christian Democratic Union is not so positive. Its leader, Pierferdinando Casini, insists the present coalition line-up is not sufficiently strong enough, either numerically or politically, to govern.
But it is President Napolitano who Prodi must convince. He has to prove he has now shored up enough support, perhaps by bringing new parties into the coalition. In this way Italy may yet avoid another general election.