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Prodi reconfirmed as Italian PM

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ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- Italian center-left leader Romano Prodi was reconfirmed as prime minister on Friday when he won a second and final confidence vote in parliament, ending a political crisis and ensuring there will be no snap election.

He won by 342 votes to 198 with 2 abstentions in the lower house, a much wider margin than in Wednesday's vote in the upper house, or Senate.

Prodi resigned last week after splits in his center-left coalition meant he lost a foreign policy vote. But he was then instructed by President Giorgio Napolitano to test his majority in parliament to see if he had the support to return to power.

"It was a good vote," Prodi told reporters. "A great margin, but also the debate showed the center left is much more united than the center right and that means the government's work will go ahead strongly. We can go forward well."

But Prodi's grip on power remains fragile as he has only a wafer-thin majority in the Senate and will have to guard against coalition defections, especially on foreign policy and finance.

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, left, with Prime Minister Romano Prodi



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