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October 9, 1997: Crisis in Italy as Prodi quits

Prodi tendered the resignation of his centre-left government to President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Gulf News

1997 Italy’s 17-month-old government led by Prime Minister Romano Prodi quit after failing to persuade its erstwhile Marxist allies into backing a deficit-cutting budget for 1998. Following a dramatic budget debate in the Lower House Chamber of Deputies, Prodi tendered the resignation of his centre-left government to President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, who asked his administration to stay on in a caretaker capacity. Scalfaro, intent on avoiding protracted political deadlock, wasted no time in announcing immediate consultations with party leaders, parliamentary speakers and former heads-of-state to try to seek a new government formation and avert early elections three-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. Prodi, who headed Italy’s first administration led by the left since Second World War, went straight from his meeting with Scalfaro for talks with the party chiefs of his Olive Tree alliance, who made up the outgoing coalition.

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