3rd Feb 2023

Prodi survives confidence vote

  • "I am very satisfied, now let's go to the Chambers," Mr Prodi said minutes after the vote (Photo: European Commission)

Italian prime minister Romano Prodi narrowly survived a confidence vote on Wednesday (28 February) after his fractious, nine-month long centre-left coalition government received 162 to 157 votes in Italy's Senate.

Mr Prodi handed in his resignation last week after senators from the ruling coalition party voted down his plans to expand a US airbase in northern Italy and keep Italian troops with NATO forces in Afghanistan, where Italy has nearly 2,000 soldiers.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Mr Prodi was not obliged to step down after the vote on the non-binding foreign policy motion in the senate - the legislature's upper house - but he insisted that he needed clear support for his cabinet to pursue Italy's international commitments.

President Giorgio Napolitano asked him to stay on and put his cabinet to a confidence vote in parliament.

"I'm very satisfied," Mr Prodi said after the vote, according to AP.

Mr Prodi has to face another confidence vote in the lower house of deputies on Friday (2 March) but Wednesday's vote was the toughest as the senate is almost evenly split between the ruling centre-left and the conservative opposition, which could have easily swung the vote.

Mr Prodi was backed by 158 elected senators and four life-appointed senators - giving him just two ballots more than the required majority.

Had he lost the vote, he would have been constitutionally obliged to step down.

Tower of Pisa

"The government is like the Tower of Pisa - It leans, but it doesn't fall," said justice minister Clemente Mastella after the vote, according to press reports.

Addressing lawmakers earlier in the day, Mr Prodi defended his government's efforts to cut the country's growing budget deficit and his plan to uphold the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, saying he was working for a political solution to the crisis affecting the country.

The former European Commission president took office in May last year after defeating Silvio Berlusconi in the closest general election in modern Italian history.

However, Mr Prodi still faces a big challenge with his coalition ranging from moderate Catholics to communists and with only a one seat majority in the senate his disparate coalition remains as vulnerable as ever, analysts say according to BBC news.

Prodi steps down over foreign policy dispute

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has handed in his resignation after senators from the ruling coalition parties voted down his plans to expand a US airbase in northern Italy and keep Italian troops with NATO forces in Afghanistan.

EU lobby register still riddled with errors

The EU's lobby register remains riddled with errors, with pro-transparency campaigners demanding better data and mandatory rules. The latest findings come amid a raft of proposals by the European Parliament president to weed out corruption in the wake of Qatargate.

Latest News

  1. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  2. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  3. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  4. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  5. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  6. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  7. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  8. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us