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Italian parliament dissolved


Italy's parliament has been dissolved by President Giorgio Napolitano after a sequence of events starting with the resignation of the Prime Minister that will result in the country having to return to the booths.

PM Romano Prodi (pictured) resigned last month after his allies - a Catholic party which helped him maintain a slim majority - withdrew its support.

News.com.au reports the caretaker government is prepared to call a snap election, likely in mid-April.

The election could mark a return to power of media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

Mr Berlusconi, a 71-year-old billionaire who has been prime minister twice before, has a consistent lead in opinion polls, leading Mr Prodi's fragmented centre left by as much as 16 points.

Italian priest Fr Antonio Rungi has urged the country to avoid making the campaign "a time to insult and humiliate the adversary" and that the right and left, Catholics and secularists, should "overcome their perennial conflicts" and campaign constructively.

SOURCE
Italy dissolves parliament (News.Com 06/02/08)

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UDEUR (Wikipedia)
Romano Prodi

ARCHIVE
Italian government in turmoil as Catholic party withdraws support (CathNews 23/01/08)

7 Feb 2008