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Center-left to Govern Italy for Full Five-year Term: Prodi
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Italy's premier-elect Romano Prodi said on Sunday his center-left coalition will stay united and try to govern Italy for the full five years of Parliament's term.

"We will stay united, and we will stay so for five years," Prodi told reporters in Bologna, where he lives.

Every parliament has a five-year term in Italy, but early elections have often been called over the past decades because of political crisis.

Prodi said he was working to give Italy "a government with prestige and strength" to be able "to turn the corner" on its problems, which include an economic slump.

Outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who begrudgingly conceded defeat in Italy's April 9-10 election, also predicted the center-left would govern for a full five-year term and even longer, according to La Repubblica which carried his comments on Sunday.

Prodi, who is at the helm of a disparate coalition that includes two mainstream center-left parties and a varied group of smaller formations, ranging from communists to moderate Catholics,won an ultra-slim victory in the general election.

His victory was confirmed on Saturday by the Supreme Court after a review of disputed ballots.

Berlusconi initially refused to recognize the victory of Prodi's coalition and has not yet telephoned Prodi to extend his congratulation. But he tacitly acknowledged defeat on Friday, promising to head a vigorous opposition.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2006)

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