Feature

Italian politics in turmoil

The week's news at a glance.

Rome

More than a week after Italy’s elections, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has still refused to concede that his party lost to the center-left party headed by Romano Prodi. Italian commentators said Berlusconi was holding out for an informal pledge that Prodi’s government would not pursue corruption charges pending against Berlusconi in Milan courts. Berlusconi, Italy’s richest man, used his political clout to pass laws protecting himself from prosecution, but many charges remain. The political situation became more complicated this week when Italy’s president, Carlo Ciampi, said he would not seek another term when his seven-year mandate expires in May. That means one of the first acts for the new parliament will be to pick a new president—and that new president will then have to appoint the new prime minister.

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