Italy's Prodi reinstalled as premier
October 14, 1997
Web posted at: 10:32 a.m. EDT (1432 GMT)
ROME (CNN) -- Five days after bringing down the government,
Italy's Communists agreed Tuesday to reverse their opposition
of Prime Minister Romano Prodi and his 1998 budget in
exchange for some political concessions.
The move was widely expected to bolster Italy's bid for
European Monetary Union admission.
"It is with enormous satisfaction that I declare Italy ready
for Europe," Prodi said.
Prodi resigned Thursday after Communists rejected his appeal
for massive budget cuts. He had sought the cuts so that
Italy would qualify to join the European Union's single
currency when it is launched in 1999.
President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro formally reinstalled Prodi as
premier Tuesday. It was not clear whether Prodi would ask for
a vote of confidence, but with Communist support, he now has
the votes to win it.
Communist leader Fausto Bertinotti struck the deal after
reaching a compromise to introduce a new law aimed at
reducing the work week. Under the law, Italy's work week
will be cut to 35 hours by the year 2001.
The accord also includes a 500 billion lire ($290 million)
reduction in spending cuts, and pension guarantees for
"We've come up with an agreement for one year, maybe longer,"
Bertinotti told reporters after an hour-long meeting with
The center-left coalition led by Prodi has been in place for
17 months. It is Italy's 55th government since World War
II, and the first dominated by leftists.
Reuters contributed to this report.