Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Silvio Berlusconi to be sworn in as Italian PM again


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was to be sworn yesterday, a day after unveiling his new government.

After the swearing-in ceremony at the presidential palace, the new government faces parliamentary confidence votes next week. It is expected to be approved, as Berlusconi’s forces control both houses.

Berlusconi formed the government on Wednesday for his third stint as prime minister since the 71-year-old media magnate stepped into politics 15 years ago. It is Italy’s 62nd government since the end of World War II.

The 21 ministers he has chosen for his new Cabinet include longtime allies as well as some new faces. It includes four women, none in a major post.

The Northern League, an anti-immigrant party and key Berlusconi ally, received several posts including the Interior Ministry.

Analysts said the government makeup overall reflected Berlusconi’s strong grip on his coalition. Key posts went to close allies, as outgoing EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini was named foreign minister and Giulio Tremonti was given the Finance Ministry portfolio.

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