Italys chamber of deputies returned a vote of confidence in Romano Prodis new government on 23 May after the prime minister outlined his plans for the country, which included rescuing the nations ailing economy, withdrawal from Iraq and halting devolution to the regions as outlined in the constitutional reform that goes to a referendum at the end of June.
Prodi received 344 votes, 37 more than the 307 majority required from the 612 deputies present. The positive result was not unexpected, since Prodis LUnit coalition was awarded a majority of 348 deputies against 281 from Silvio Berlusconis Casa della Libert in Aprils general elections. Prodi also won a less certain vote of confidence in the senate on 19 May, where his coalition holds a razor-thin majority of 158 seats against the oppositions 156. The vote of confidence in the government was passed by 165 to 155 with no abstentions. All seven of the life senators, including former president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, voted in the governments favour. With both chambers won, Prodis government can now start work, and the prime minister has already called an informal meeting of ministers on 4 June to clarify the political agenda.