Friday

23rd Jun 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

News in Brief

  1. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  2. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  3. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  4. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  5. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal
  6. US issues warrant for VW managers, German media say
  7. EU extends sanctions against Russia
  8. Merkel denies Franco-German deal on EU agencies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  2. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  3. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  4. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  5. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  6. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  7. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  8. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  11. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move
  12. European Social Services ConferenceDriving innovation in the social sector – 26-28 June