Italian lower house approves new government
April 30, 2013 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
- NEW: In a confidence vote, Italy's lower house confirms the new prime minister's government
- Enrico Letta was sworn in Sunday, the same day a gunman shot officers outside his office
- Letta has said unemployment and political reform are top priorities
- Italy has an 11.6% unemployment rate
Rome (CNN) -- After months of political uncertainty and economic crisis, the lower house of Italy's parliament gave Prime Minister Enrico Letta's new government a vote confidence on Monday.
Letta received support from lawmakers in a 453-153 lower house vote. Lawmakers in the upper house, the Senate, are scheduled to vote on Tuesday.
Letta was sworn in on Sunday -- the same day a gunman shot and wounded two national police officers outside the prime minister's office.
But Letta was being sworn in at the presidential palace a short distance away and was not present at the time of the shooting, state-run news agency ANSA said.
Gunman opens fire in Italy
Italy has been hampered by political uncertainty since February, when elections left none of the candidates with enough support to form a government.
Letta, a center-left politician, has 18 ministers -- two of whom are members of the center-right People of Freedom Party led by three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Nearly all the others are members of Letta's Democratic Party or people close to it.
Letta said last week that the most important priority is tackling the country's 11.6% unemployment rate, which has pushed many young Italians to leave the country.
The second most pressing issue facing Italy is the need for political reform, he said.
Constitutional changes are needed to reduce the number of members of parliament and fix an electoral system that has kept the country locked in a political stalemate it can't afford, he said.
"We need to do this together with the largest participation possible," he said.
He also said the European Union's policy of austerity needs to change.
Part of complete coverage on
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1644 GMT (0044 HKT)
Put aside out-of-date views of Africa and see it the way Africans seem to: With a high level of optimism, a CNN survey shows.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 0937 GMT (1737 HKT)
The all too real political theater playing out in Pyongyang may offer another tantalizing glimpse behind the opaque curtain of the North Korea.
Read the journal of Mira Sorvino, a human rights activist and Oscar winning actress, who went to Cambodia with the CNN Freedom Project.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 0757 GMT (1557 HKT)
Kenya could reinvent itself as a center for innovation. But it needs to build new research universities and expand its education, one expert argues.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
The sign language interpreter widely ridiculed for his performance at the Nelson Mandela memorial stands by his work.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT)
Behind the scenes in Cambodian karaoke bars -- a common front for child prostitution.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 0446 GMT (1246 HKT)
A global risk firm surveys the most politically explosive countries.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
On Tuesday, I was free. On Wednesday, I became a criminal. India's high court just made being gay illegal, writes Tushar Malik.
December 12, 2013 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
A Japanese actor says playing villians in Chinese films has helped the China-Japan divide. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Pope Francis is Time's person of the year. His papacy has drawn adulation from people around the world for his man-of-the-people ways.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1333 GMT (2133 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
Today's five most popular stories