Italy’s Center-Left Government Near Collapse Despite Advent of New Party

Italy’s Center-Left Government Near Collapse Despite Advent of New Party

ROME -- A design to create a unified party of the center-left in Italy risks undermining the very government it supports and is unlikely to appease Italians, who are increasingly disgruntled with the political status quo in their country.

The new Partito Democratico (Democratic Party) will officially be born on Oct. 14, when Italians will choose the party's leadership and constituent assembly in nationwide primary elections. But many fear that the baptism of the new center-left party will be the last rites for Prodi and his troubled government.

Italy's fractious ruling coalition, lead by Prime Minister Romano Prodi, has seemed to be on the verge of collapse several times since it won the elections in April 2006. Many Italians, dissatisfied with the previous reform-shy conservative government, had hoped Prodi would bring about a much-needed change in the state of politics and the economy. But the election of the center-left was no turning point. Forced to bargain with a multitude of political allies, the government has been unable to undertake the bold reforms it promised during the election campaign.

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