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Silvio Berlusconi Wins Third Term as Italy's Prime Minister

April 15, 2008 03:59 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The former Italian prime minister reclaims his post after winning 47 percent of the vote. His main opponent, Walter Veltroni, has conceded.

30-Second Summary

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Berlusconi’s conservative Popola della Liberta (PdL; usually translated as People of Freedom) and his allied parties won 47 percent of the vote for the national senate, while Veltroni’s center-left Democratic Party garnered 38 percent.

The re-election marks Berlusconi's third term as prime minister, though not consecutively; he vacated the office in 2006.

Votes for three parties played into the final outcome: the Union of Center and Christian Democrats and anti-immigration Northern League, allied with the PdL; and the Rainbow Left, which encompasses Greens and Marxists and is formally tied with Veltroni’s party.

The Northern League drew much of its vote from traditional leftist strongholds in northern Italian cities. Sylvia Poggioli reported for NPR that the party “traces its roots to the Celts rather than from the people of the Mediterranean. Its campaign poster features a Native American with the tag line, ‘They allowed immigration and now they live on reservations.’”

The country’s economy has been staggering amidst a strong euro, low productivity and a large national debt. Knowing that Italy’s financial state would be a top priority for the country’s next government, Berlusconi said on public television Monday night, “We have difficult months ahead that will require great strength,” before blowing “an affectionate kiss to all Italians.”

Headline Links: Berlusconi reclaims prime ministership; Veltroni concedes

Video & Audio: Berlusconi rises again

Reactions: Candidates trade barbs, insult soccer player

Key Players: Silvio Berlusconi and Walter Veltroni

Silvio Berlusconi (1936–)
Walter Veltroni (1955–)

Reference: Italy

Related Topics: Berlusconi Mocks Looks of Female Left-Wing Politicians

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