Albania forces Italy to brink
Wednesday 09 April 1997
Having started out as an opportunity for Italy to shine on the international stage, Albania is turning into a nightmare for Mr Prodi. First he lost the support of a crucial ally, the far-left party Rifondazione Comunista, thus losing his precarious majority in the Chamber of Deputies. Now he risks losing the opposition as well, which until yesterday had pledged to support the intervention force.
The leader of the opposition, Silvio Berlusconi, laid out a trap for Mr Prodi, announcing that his deputies would vote against the government motion but would present a similarly worded one of their own instead. The Albanian mission is not itself at risk, therefore; the issue is one of political pride. Mr Berlusconi's challenge is as follows: if Mr Prodi wants an intervention force in Albania, he will have to vote for the opposition's motion rather than his own.
The scene is set for a showdown in parliament today, where Mr Prodi's government will have to struggle to survive. Its only hope, barring a change of heart by Mr Berlusconi, is to lure Rifondazione Comunista back into the fold.
Yesterday, the deputy foreign minister, Piero Fassino, tried to do just that by stating in outspoken fashion that the Italian government wants to see President Sali Berisha of Albania go.
Rifondazione, which has argued that the intervention force would only keep President Berisha in power, welcomed his remarks but said they did not go far enough. Mr Prodi, however, disowned his point of view, then Mr Fassino himself did the same, confirming an impression was of government in disarray and panic.
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Israel accused of killing 75 children during day of 'carnage' and war crimes in Gaza war
Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This privately owned Fencing Co...
£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you answer yes, this company...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in Online Pro...