Italy Ready for Snap Poll After Talks Fail

Polls suggest Berlusconi will win third term as PM
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 10:45 AM CST
A man watches Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi on television sets in a store in Milan, Italy, in this April 3, 2006 photo. The prospect that Italy's richest man could return to political power has not...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Italy will turn to a snap election in April to form a new government after 4 days of negotiations led by the speaker of the Senate failed to form an interim coalition. Parliament will be dissolved, and polls suggest that Silvio Berlusconi will win a third term as prime minister, Reuters reports. The new administration will be Italy's 62nd since World War II.

After the collapse of PM Romano Prodi's government, the Italian president tried to head off an early poll so that critical election reforms could be introduced. But sensing his advantage, Berlusconi kept his allies from cooperation, and an interim administration became impossible. Although Berlusconi is riding high in the polls, his main opponent, Walter Veltroni, insists he has a shot: "I don't believe the doom-sayers nor opinion polls. Look at Obama."