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Supporters of Romano Prodi celebrate a change in government
Supporters of Romano Prodi celebrate a change in government

Internal News - 12 April 2006

Italy’s future – expert comment on the elections

Italian history and politics expert Professor Anna Bull, from the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages, has commented on the results of the Italian elections to the BBC World Service and Reuters.

Professor Bull said: “These elections have been the most bitter and acrimonious since 1945. Despite all the uncertainty, the results point to the formation of a government by the centre-left coalition, led by Romano Prodi, the former President of the European Commission.

“This is a mixed result for Italy. There are divisions within the centre-left, and a strengthening of its radical wing which may not bode well for future legislature. However, Mr Prodi ensured that all the parties in the coalition signed a common programme and all have since pledged their loyalty to his leadership.

“The offer of a 'grand coalition' on the part of incumbent Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was firmly rejected by Prodi. In light of the confrontational nature of electoral campaign, the acceptance of a coalition, similar to that in Germany, was extremely unlikely.”