Italy shifted back to the right as Berlusconi won a third stint at prime minister, and five parties — including two major voting blocs — were voted into the country’s parliament. Berlusconi said Tuesday, April 15, that he would form his government within a week. “I will govern for five years,” Berlusconi told public television after his center-left rival Walter Veltroni conceded defeat. “We have difficult months ahead that will require great strength,” the conservative billionaire said, offering “an affectionate kiss to all Italians.” Following Berlusconi’s clear victory, Veltroni, Rome’s former mayor, said: “As is the custom in all Western democracies, I telephoned Berlusconi to acknowledge his victory and wish him good luck in his work.” With ballot-counting nearly finished, results saw Berlusconi’s voting bloc, the People of Freedom (PDL), with an advantage of 41 seats in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, which has 315 elected and seven life-time senators. The last government under Romano Prodi — who resigned in January, just months into his five-year term — had just a two-seat Senate majority. The upper house contributed to Prodi’s downfall, when a small party with just three senators withdrew its support for the center-left coalition. Smaller parties… Read full this story
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