Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Italian opposition leader resigns

Walter Veltroni, file picture
Critics say Walter Veltroni has failed to capitalise on the recession

Italy's centre-left opposition leader, Walter Veltroni, has resigned after his Democratic Party lost a key local election on the island of Sardinia.

The result consolidated the hold on power of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right alliance, after its candidate for governor won.

Mr Veltroni had been criticised for failing to make gains on the government despite the deepening recession.

He said he would give a press conference on Wednesday.

Mr Veltroni led the centre-left into the general election last April after Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned, but lost to Mr Berlusconi and his allies. He has since failed to make up ground on his rival.

In Sardinia, Mr Berlusconi's candidate and son of his tax advisor, Ugo Cappellacci, ousted the centre-left governor, Renato Soru, the founder of the Tiscali internet company.

It put the prime minister's ally in charge of a region where he owns a luxury seaside mansion and spends lots of time.

Print Sponsor

Crowds rally against Italy's PM
25 Oct 08 |  Europe
Profile: Walter Veltroni
10 Apr 08 |  Europe
Country profile: Italy
18 Dec 08 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific