Italian politics in turmoil
The week's news at a glance.
More than a week after Italys 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 Prodis government would not pursue corruption charges pending against Berlusconi in Milan courts. Berlusconi, Italys 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 Italys 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 presidentand that new president will then have to appoint the new prime minister.