Italian PM Prodi Resigns

He loses confidence vote in the Senate
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 3:27 PM CST
People on a truck, holding Italian Fiamma Tricolore right-wing party flags, celebrate downtown Rome, after a confidence vote in the Senate, in Rome, Thursday Jan. 24, 2008. Embattled Premier Prodi lost...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The fat lady has sung for Italian PM Romano Prodi. After losing a confidence vote in the Senate, Prodi resigned today, the BBC reports. President Giorgio Napolitano now has to make the decision of calling a snap election or appointing a caretaker government. Former PM Berlusconi's center-right coalition would be likely to win an upcoming election, say experts.

Before the vote, Prodi pleaded for the Senate not to create a "political vacuum" by defeating his government. "Stopping the government's work is a luxury Italy cannot afford," said Prodi. Meanwhile, most leaders agree that a major reform of Italy's electoral system is needed, as the current one grants too much power to relatively tiny parties.