Prodi faces new Afghan vote

Romano Prodi's fragile government faces another nail-biting vote on the Italian peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

Prodi faces new Afghan vote

Romano Prodi's fragile governmentfaces another nail-biting vote on the Italian peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

The Senate has to agree the re-financing for the mission.

But the parties on the far-left of Mr Prodi's alliance want the 1,800 troopscurrently deployed in Afghanistanto come home.

It is barely a month since Mr Prodi lost a Senate vote on foreign policy andanother defeat could spell the end for the prime minister.

'Smelling an opportunity'

In previous votes on Afghanistan,the opposition forces led by Silvio Berlusconi have voted with Mr Prodi insolidarity with the troops serving abroad.

But in recent days, Mr Berlusconi has expressed his concern at the way inwhich the government negotiated the release of an Italian journalist kidnappedin Afghanistanby the Taleban, a deal in which five Taleban prisoners were released inexchange.

The opposition has also criticised Mr Prodi for refusing to consider changesto the rules of engagement for Italian troops.

Mr Berlusconi says this is necessary so they can defend themselves properly.

This means that on Tuesday, Mr Prodi must rely on his own coalition and ahandful of lifetime senators.

The prime minister has said any senators voting against the Afghan missionwill be trampling national dignity.

But the opposition can no doubt smell an opportunity, and there will be manyqueuing up to demand his resignation if the vote fails to muster a convincingmajority.

In the end, Mr Prodi will probably squeeze home, thanks to the support ofthe smaller Christian Democrat Party in the opposition.

But the vote will be a sign of whether the prime minister can trust in hisown coalition and whether the guarantees he received the last time thegovernment fell will actually count.

Source:BBC

 

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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