Italy's Election Raises Questions

Romano Prodi appears to have eked out a narrow victory. But does he have the support to spur economic reforms?

Italy's dead-heat national election on Apr. 9 -10 had Italians glued to their TV sets all through the night and biting their nails into the morning of Apr. 11, when a slim victory for the coalition of center-left leader Romano Prodi finally looked clear. Former European Union President Prodi, 66, defeated Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 69, by a narrow margin in both the upper and lower houses of parliament, forcing the country's richest businessman out of office after presiding over five years of economic decline. But much to the dismay of many Italian business leaders, Prodi failed to win the strong mandate for change, which they hoped could spur vital reforms.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.