Chirac congratulates Italy's Prodi on election win

12th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 12, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday telephoned Italy's centre-left leader Romano Prodi to congratulate him on his general election victory, which outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is refusing to recognize.

PARIS, April 12, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday telephoned Italy's centre-left leader Romano Prodi to congratulate him on his general election victory, which outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is refusing to recognize.

Chirac's office said he extended "warm and friendly congratulations" to Prodi, officially acknowledging the opposition's victory over Berlusconi in the knife-edge polls.

The president said he was convinced that "Italy and France would further strengthen their relationship and cooperation in the service of Europe," the presidency said.

The French president invited Prodi to visit Paris as soon as possible.

Prodi was moving ahead on Wednesday with plans to form Italy's next government, despite a call by Berlusconi for a recount of thousands of disputed ballots after Italy's closest general election in living memory.

Prodi told French radio Wednesday: "Victory is now clear in both houses of parliament," saying he was "certain" of becoming Italy's next prime minister.

He also said he hoped for a "strong alliance with France."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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