Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Italy swears in new government

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-28

Italian centre-left politician Enrico Letta was sworn in as prime minister on Sunday, along with a 21-member cabinet forged from across the political divide, with a record seven female ministers.

Two Italian police officers were shot and wounded on Sunday outside the prime minister’s office in Rome at the same time as Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s new government was being sworn in just a kilometre away.

It was not immediately clear whether the attack was linked to the launch of the new government, but the episode came at a time of bitter political division with rising social tensions exacerbated by a long economic slump.

Letta, 46, the moderate deputy head of the Democratic Party (PD), on Saturday ended two months of political stalemate following February’s inconclusive election when he united former political rivals in a broad coalition government.

The mix of centre-right and centre-left politicians and unaffiliated technocrats was largely welcomed in Italy’s mainstream press on Sunday, especially for the record of seven female ministers and the relatively young average age.

However, the political risks that Letta faces were spelled out on Sunday by a close ally of centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi who is a core stakeholder in the government.

Renato Brunetta, lower house leader of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party (PDL), said the government would fall unless Letta promised in his maiden speech to urgently abolish an unpopular housing tax and repay the 2012 levy to taxpayers.

Letta is expected to set out his government’s plans in parliament on Monday and will then need to win a vote of confidence in both houses to be fully empowered.

“If the prime minister doesn’t make this precise commitment we will not give him our support in the vote of confidence,” Brunetta told daily Il Messaggero.

Brunetta, who was himself a candidate for the post of economy minister, said that during negotiations for the formation of the government Letta had “given his word” on the abolition and repayment of the tax, which would leave an 8 billion euros hole in public accounts.

However, on Sunday attention was focused on the dramatic shooting outside Palazzo Chigi, the prime minister’s official residence, with several politicians warning that the fevered political climate may have contributed to the episode.

Luigi Preiti, in his forties, from the southern Italian region of Calabria, was arrested.

Having fired several shots at the two police on duty outside the prime minister’s office, he shouted “shoot me, shoot me” to other police officers nearby, police said.

One of the two officers was shot in the neck and was in a serious, but not life-threatening condition, while the other officer was shot in the leg and less seriously hurt.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-04-28

  • ITALY

    Enrico Letta nominated as Italy's new prime minister

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Napolitano urges deal on new govt 'without delay'

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Italy's Napolitano wins unprecedented second term

    Read more

COMMENT(S)