Thursday

2nd Dec 2021

Italian MPs re-elect Napolitano

  • The 87-year old Napolitano (l) is considered a good mediator (Photo: UK in Italy)

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday (20 April) was re-elected by the parliament for another seven-year term, paving the way for a government coalition deal.

The 87-year old politician, a respected mediator, secured the needed 504 votes in the parliament, becoming the first Italian president to get a second mandate. Napolitano was former member of the Communist Party and later a Social-Democrat.

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

The political groups had previously tried five times to elect other candidates, including former EU commission president Romano Prodi.

The country's parliament has been deadlocked since February, when inconclusive elections failed to produce a clear majority in both chambers able to form a government.

The election of the president is seen as a first step towards a compromise between the left and the right.

"I strongly hope that in the next few weeks, starting in the next few days, all sides will fulfil their duties, with the aim of strengthening the institutions of the state," Napolitano said.

Meanwhile, supporters of Beppe Grillo, the comedian-turned-politician calling for direct democracy and refusing to take part in a coalition government, protested against Napolitano's re-election. Grillo said the re-election was nothing less than a "coup d'etat."

The failed attempts to elect a president also led to the resignation of centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, who divided his party with a candidate endorsed by his arch-rival, Silvio Berlusconi.

Napolitano has failed to broker a deal for a coalition government since February when elections took place, but he has now the power to dissolve parliament if no deal is found - an option he did not have as an outgoing president.

"It's clear that within the week an agreement on a government will be reached," said Rocco Buttiglione, a former Berlusconi ally who has now joined the party led by outgoing prime minister, Mario Monti. "Napolitano is very strong right now and the parties are rather impotent," he noted.

Italian President demands respect in Germany

Italian President Napolitano has, while on a trip to Germany, demanded respect for Italy and cancelled a meeting with the German opposition leader after he mocked election results.

Opinion

Why is Italy in political stalemate?

Fundamental differences on how to govern Italy, not on policy, are stopping Italy's top three parties from making a deal.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

News in Brief

  1. Poland curtails media access to Belarus border
  2. Report: Germany's Scholz 'backs compulsory Covid jabs'
  3. Omicron 'present in Europe at least 10 days ago'
  4. German court finds ex-Islamic State member guilty of genocide
  5. Report: Shell is considering return to Libya
  6. Report: EU to reveal €300bn infrastructure plan
  7. Barbados becomes world's newest republic
  8. Far-right Zemmour will run for French presidency

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. No obligation to defend Ukraine from Russia, Nato chief says
  2. EU agency: 'Omicron vaccine' approval to take 3-4 months
  3. Ombudsman launches probe into Commission tobacco lobbying
  4. Lead MEP wants 'mandatory relocation' in EU asylum law
  5. The EU's 'global gateway' - an answer to China, or a dead-end?
  6. Osman Kavala in a Turkish jail - taking injustice personally
  7. Frontex implicated 'to some extent' in violations, says officer
  8. Omicron shows need for pandemic global pact, WHO says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us