Italian election 2006
Italy’s post-election confusion cleared after Silvio Berlusconi finally conceded defeat, clearing the way for Romano Prodi, the centre-left leader, to take over as prime minister.
Italy’s centre-right government unveiled its programme for the April 9-10 national election, promising higher old age pensions, the elimination of hospital waiting lists and more police on the streets.
Italy’s next government urgently needs to cut labour costs and streamline the state bureaucracy in order to improve economic competitiveness, one of the country’s leading businessmen said.
The threat of creeping protectionism across Europe deepened when Italy raised the prospect of toughening Italian takeover laws in retaliation against France’s efforts to deter foreign bidders from acquiring French companies.
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, faces the conundrum this week of how to restore his government’s international image while fighting a re-election campaign.
The complex relationship between Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, and David Mills, corporate lawyer and husband of Tessa Jowell, Britain’s culture secretary, is thrusting itself into Italy’s election campaign.
From abortion and same-sex unions to tax breaks for the Roman Catholic Church, Italy's general election next April is being influenced by religious issues in a fashion without parallel since the 1970s.
The economy has grown by a meagre 0.8 per cent a year on average since Silvio Berlusconi became premier in June 2001. The International Monetary Fund estimates Italy’s long-term annual growth rate at only 1.25 per cent – one of the lowest among the world’s advanced industrial economies.