Matteo gets his man
The choice of Italy's president is good news for the prime minister
SERGIO MATTARELLA, a 73-year-old Sicilian, constitutional-court judge and former government minister, became Italy's 12th president on February 3rd. Matteo Renzi, the prime minister who backed him, said his election would “turbocharge” his reforms. Mr Renzi (shown above with Mr Mattarella) is prone to exaggeration: he faces a long, hard climb. But he has again shown formidable political skills.
When the 89-year-old Giorgio Napolitano stepped down in mid-January, Mr Renzi promised a successor by the end of the month. That he delivered was no mean feat. Mr Napolitano agreed in 2013 to serve a second term only because parliament could not agree on his successor. This time Mr Renzi managed to unite his fractured Democratic Party (PD) behind Mr Mattarella, and secure the backing of the opposition Left, Ecology and Freedom party and of Angelino Alfano, his interior minister, who leads the New Centre Right party. That was enough: after three days of voting in which no candidate won a two-thirds majority, Mr Mattarella was elected on the fourth round, which required a simple majority, by 665 votes out of 1,009.
Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia, the main right-wing opposition party, and former prime minister, was against Mr Mattarella.That was mainly because he had not been consulted more carefully, despite his pact to support Mr Renzi's constitutional reforms. Most in Forza Italia backed Mr Berlusconi, but quite a few defied him.
The result has strengthened Mr Renzi's position both in the PD and in government, weakened Mr Berlusconi, and thrown the right into disarray. Mr Renzi will press on with his reforms, with or without Mr Berlusconi's backing. He hopes that opponents on both left and right will not risk an early election, since that could produce a more Renzian parliament. A new electoral law should be approved by the lower house by April. The reform of the Senate will take longer, but could be done next year.
The economy is at last showing glimmers of life. But as Mr Mattarella himself conceded, Italy's prolonged economic crisis has damaged the country's social fabric. He called for more reform of institutions, of public administration and of the judicial system. And he spoke of the need to combat corruption and organised crime—a highly personal theme, since he entered politics in 1980 only after the assassination by the Mafia of his brother, then Sicily's president.
经济总是在末路时回光返照。正如马塔雷拉本人所说的，意大利长期的经济危机已经破坏了国家的社会结构。他呼吁更多的机构改革，司法系统改革和公共管理系统改革。马塔雷拉谈到了一个高度的个性化主题—打击腐败和有组织犯罪，因为马塔雷拉是在1980年其担任西西里大区时任主席的兄长被黑手党暗杀之后步入的政坛。翻译：上官喵 校对 王颖
1.prone to 易于；倾向于
As they shorten, cells become more prone to disease and death.
He's prone to flit between subjects with amazing ease.
2.step down 辞职；下台
The manager had to step down on account of poor health.
He has decided that he doesn't want to embarrass the movement and will therefore step down.
3.economic crisis 经济危机；金融危机
Natural disasters have obvi-ously contributed to the continent's economic crisis.
The economic crisis was interpreted in diametrically opposing ways.