Romano Prodi, the leader of the LUnione centre-left coalition, which won the general elections on 9 and 10 April, has presented his government to Giorgio Napolitano, the new Italian president. The new government is made up of 25 ministers, six of them women although only one woman, Livia Turco minister of health, has a ministry with portfolio.

Of the 25 ministries 13 go to members of the Democrazia di Sinistra (DS) and the Margherita. There are two vice prime ministers, Massimo DAlema from the DS, who is also minister for foreign affairs, and Francesco Rutelli (Margherita) who is the minister for culture. The new minister for the economy is Tommaso Padoa Schioppa a much respected economist who has been one of the directors of the Bank of Italy and of the European central bank. The new government will ask for parliaments vote of confidence in the senate on 18 May and in the chamber of deputies on Monday 22 May.