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  • A crucial vote on Senate reform—already passed in the Chamber of Deputies—may take place by mid-August. The goal of the reform bill, a hallmark of Premier Matteo Renzi’s government, is to make the Senate more distinct from Parliament in hopes of speeding up the legislative process. Ratification had been bogged down by introduction of 7,800 amendments until Wednesday, when a “kangaroo” hopped into the Senate to help save the day.
  • It's a done deal: on Wednesday the Chamber of Deputies passed a revised election law dubbed the "Italicum," with 365 votes in favor, 156 nays and 40 abstentions. The new law, whose aim is to promote governing stability in a country where the political parties are locked in a three-way split, now passes to the Senate for debate and approval. But Premier Matteo Renzi's point was also to show that he can make good on his promises to bring change.
  • Italian President Giorgio Napolitano refused to sign the bill on fiscal federalism, with comments that it was “unreceivable,” poorly drafted and generic. For Berlusconi the bill was a promise he had to keep, not least because Bossi, the head of the Northern League and the prime sponsor of federalism, is the beleaguered Premier’s sole remaining ally in government. To many, the rebuff showed that the government itself has come to a screeching halt
  • Facts & Stories
    From Italy(January 25, 2008)
    Premier Prodi quits on Thursday night after a Senate confidence vote (a parliamentary "confidence vote" is needed in Italy for a government to stay in charge) produced a widely expected defeat for his 20-month-old centre-left government