Berlusconi Eyes 3rd Term as Prime Minister

Italy's richest man may be back in office in months
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 9:52 AM CST
In this photo released by the Italian presidency Press Office, Italian premier Romano Prodi, right, followed by government undersecretary Enrico Letta, on his way in the Quirinale presidential palace...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Italy's president will begin crisis talks tonight with top politicians after last night's resignation of PM Romano Prodi. While a technocrat will probably take the helm of the country for a few months, Silvio Berlusconi is waiting in the wings, and the richest man in Italy has his sights set on a third term as prime minister. With the center-right riding high in the polls, his supporters are predicting a return to power within months, reports Bloomberg.

The president, Giorgio Napolitano, wants an interim coalition to push through election law reform to prevent the splintered situation that led to Prodi's ungovernable nine-party coalition. While right-wing papers rejoiced at the PM's defeat, the left-leaning La Repubblica regretted the "strange and unjust destiny for a politician who has twice defeated Berlusconi" and "twice cleaned up the public accounts."