Skip to main content

Italian lower house approves new government

By Hada Messia and Ben Wedeman, CNN
April 30, 2013 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
For the first time in 24 years, Germany has lifted the World Cup after beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 2145 GMT (0545 HKT)
Do you know your gurkentruppe from your bananenflanken? CNN helps.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
Police moved in just one hour before Rui Chenggang was due to appear on air, leaving his anchor chair empty.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
A salvage team will attempt to float the ill-fated Costa Concordia again. CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports.
July 13, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT