Peter Hoskin

A roman holiday for Prodi

A roman holiday for Prodi
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If you think that Gordon Brown's having a tough time of things at the moment, then spare a thought for Romano Prodi.  For - following defeat in a vote of no confidence - Mr Prodi yesterday resigned as Prime Minister of Italy. Opposition senators even uncorked bottles of champagne to celebrate his departure - in the main debating chamber, no less.

All of which heralds the likely return of Silvio Berlusconi to the prime ministerial role.  Berlusconi has clawed his way back to a position of enormous popularity with Italian voters, and his advisors expect him to be back in power "within months". Yes, those "strangely charming" gaffes are set to tread the world stage once again.


Crucially for Berlusconi - and for Italian society - many commentators are regarding this as a seismic shift in Italian politics: the "death of the centre left".  If this is the case, Berlusconi might hope to beat his own record for the longest serving government since World War 2

But, whoever eventually heads the 62nd Italian Government since 1945, they shouldn't get too complacent just yet.  As the events of the past few days have demonstrated, there are very serious flaws within Italian politics; flaws which can only be fixed by a very capable politician indeed.