Wednesday

24th May 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.

MEPs vote to start democracy probe on Hungary

The European Parliament took the first step towards launching the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for backsliding on democracy. The process might lead to sanctions, but Orban is not backing down.

Schulz fails to beat Merkel in German home state

Former EU parliament leader, Martin Schulz, says the defeat of his social-democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia is "difficult". The elections showed that a "Schulz effect" does not (yet) exist.

Austria heading for snap elections

Foreign minister Kurz has taken leadership of the conservative party in what could lead to an alliance with the far-right.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms