Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Italy head to dissolve parliament and call elections

Italy: Berlusconi is ready for it.

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's president was due to dissolve parliament on Wednesday ahead of snap elections, likely in mid-April, that could mark a return to power of media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

President Giorgio Napolitano held talks with the speakers of both houses of parliament on Tuesday -- the penultimate formal step mandated by the constitution before calling elections.

Caretaker Prime Minister Romano Prodi was due at the presidential palace at about 1030 GMT to counter-sign the presidential decree dissolving parliament some three years ahead of schedule.

Then Prodi was to hold a cabinet meeting to decide the timing of the two-day elections, with April 13-14 seen as the most likely dates.

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