Romano Prodi’s government wins confidence vote

Italian Premier Romano Prodi's newly installed government on Friday won a vote of confidence in the Senate, in the first test of the stability of his center-left majority.

The 165-155 vote in the upper house of Parliament came a day after Prodi outlined his government's program to senators, vowing to bring home Italian troops in Iraq and apply shock therapy to fix the country's struggling economy.

Prodi's coalition won a mere two-seat majority in the Senate at April 9-10 elections. However, all seven senators-for-life voted in favor of the government. The life senators were not elected but appointed by the president.

Another vote of confidence is scheduled Tuesday in the lower house, where the center-left has a wider majority. If a government loses a vote of confidence, it must resign, reports the AP.

I.L.