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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Prodi backed in key Afghan vote

Romano Prodi’s Italian government has won a vote in the Senate to keep Italy’s troops in Afghanistan.

The vote gives final approval to a measure that provides funding for all Italian missions abroad.

The government saw off a rebellion from some left-wing members of the ruling coalition, to repeat the victory it had already achieved in the lower house.

Commentators had said that a defeat in the vote could have led to the collapse of Mr Prodi’s government.

In the event it was carried by 180 votes to two, with 132 abstentions, which in the Senate count as “No” votes.

An interesting vote for a variety of reasons. For one, a foreign policy vote that was considered too pro-America almost led to Prodi’s ouster recently. For another, it would be problematic for the US and NATO for the Italians to withdraw their 1800 troops from Afghanistan at this point in time, one would think.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Afghanistan | |

4 Comments

  1. When Prodi’s coalition was expanded following the premier’s threat to resign after the previous loss on this matter, Berlusconi announced he would throw Prodi a lifeline on any subsequent votes regarding NATO commitments.

    Comment by MSS — Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

  2. The interesting thing is that according to the story, Berlusconi’s party abstained for this vote:

    In previous votes on Afghanistan, he has been propped up by the right-wing opposition led by Silvio Berlusconi, which supports the deployment.

    But Mr Berlusconi has become more critical - notably of the way in which the government negotiated the release of an Italian journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taleban, a deal which saw five Taleban prisoners freed in exchange.

    Come the vote, the opposition split, with senators from Mr Berlusconi’s party abstaining, but most of the Christian Democrat Party backing the government.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, March 27, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

  3. Yes, that is interesting. Thanks for the added quotation.

    The Christian Democrats (small now, after having dominated most of the post-WWII era) were the party that switched sides after Prodi’s resignation gambit.

    The abstention is thus consistent with Berlusconi’s stated position: He said he would not let the NATO commitments be defeated, but if there is no such risk, then he can abstain and thereby not support a government that peeled off one of his erstwhile allies. Cake and eat it, too, and all that.

    Comment by MSS — Wednesday, March 28, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  4. Spanish Defense Minister acknowledges the danger

    El Diario Exterior [in Spanish]: “In Afghanistan there is an important level of unsecurity”, with these words Spanish Minsiter of Defense, Josť Antonio Alonso, has admitted about the situation in the country where Spain has sent troops.

    Trackback by Toasted Bread — Thursday, March 29, 2007 @ 9:46 am

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