Talk:Prime Minister of Italy

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Fourth most important office?[edit]

Fourth most important state office? How so? Obviously the president is "more important" (de jure, if not de facto). But other than that? john k 16:25, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I just translated it; I don't really know. My guess is the other two would be the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber. "Fourth-most important", behind those two that no one ever pays much attention to, does seem a very peculiar affirmation, but we ought to get some sort of source to cite when explaining the real situation. --Trovatore 16:31, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
So according to Article 86 of the Italian Constitution, it seems that the President of the Senate acts for the President of the Republic when the latter can't, and if that situation looks permanent then it's the President of the Chamber who calls for the election of a new President of the Republic. As far as I can see, the constitution makes no specific mention of an order of importance, but perhaps it's inferred from these provisions. Italian Wikipedia has no descriptive article on either of the chamber presidencies, only lists of the presidents. --Trovatore 16:58, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm Italian and I can explain that, this is the order: 1)President of the Italian Republic (head of the state) 2)President of the Republic Senate (in Italy the president of the senate is also the vice president of the republic) 3)President of the Deputies Chamber (head of the parlament when both chambers are united, for example, for the election of the president of the republic) 4)President of the Council of Ministers (head of government) 5)President of the Costitutional Court (the costitutional tribunal)

In Italy those are the five most important charges. --Lionheart1994 18:01, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Votes of Confidence[edit]

I know that with Italy's proportional/additional member system it is unlikely, but what would happen if the two houses had majorities from different parties/coalitions? Italy is the only country I have heard of where the prime minister needs the confidence of two separate non-figurehead legislative houses. My guess is that a new election would have to be called, and/or some ugly super-coalition government would be formed. Xyzzyva 00:28, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

It bloody nearly happened this time—not actual opposing majorities in the two chambers, but failure of the coalition that won the Chamber of Deputies to win the Senate as well. I think l'Unione currently has something like a two-vote majority in the Senate; it came down to the seats reserved for expatriates, which split 4-2 in favor of the center-left. This is one of the big reasons Prodi's government is not given a long life expectancy by the handicappers; as someone said, all it takes is for a couple of government senators to get a cold. --Trovatore 17:22, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


Why is ministers not capitalized? In nearly all sources it is? It is part of a title, and should be capitalized. Carlossuarez46 19:43, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

The current capitalization is certainly strange. It should either be "president of the council of ministers" (descriptive) or "President of the Council of Ministers" (title). My guess is that the person who moved it here was inappropriately applying Italian capitalization rules to an English article. --Trovatore 19:45, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Please help police interlang links[edit]

Interlang bots frequently make incorrect associations between articles when (as is the current case) one article in some languages corresponds at least roughly to two different articles in other languages. Here the distinction is that in Italian, English, and a few other languages, there's an actual article on the office of prime minister of Italy, in addition to a separate article containing a list of those who have held the office. That's the way it should be in every language, but unfortunately it's not.

We need to make sure this article links to the articles on the office, not the list of officeholders; this is especially important for languages that have both articles. --Trovatore (talk) 08:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Can't be sure but probably good. Does anyone speak this language?


Extra bad (list articles in languages that have article on the office):

Move to Prime Minister of Italy[edit]

It is much more commonly used. See [1] as compared to [2]. Both are advanced searches for web pages with the exacting wording or phrase of "Prime Minister of Italy" and "President of the Council of Ministers of Italy", respectively and with the English language. If there is no response by 22 April, it will be moved. Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Not with the uppercase M -- see previous discussion at Talk:Prime Minister of Italy. "Prime minister" is in this case a description, not a title, and even if it were a title it should (in my opinion) not be uppercase except when used in conjunction with a person's name. However a move to prime minister of Italy with the lowercase would be fine with me. --Trovatore (talk) 02:20, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll still wait but just to clarify, "Prime minister of Italy" would be your preferred? Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:22, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Um, mildly, I suppose. It does seem more natural. However there is a significant contingent of editors preferring the literal translation. --Trovatore (talk) 02:25, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand. What do you mean? Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
The current title is the literal translation of the Italian presidente del consiglio dei ministri, which is the official title. --Trovatore (talk) 02:29, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, this is the English Wikipedia. 71,000 to 98 is pretty prominent. PM is also used by the CIA here (saying that is is the President of the Council of Ministers in Italy) and here, several time by the Encyclopedia Britannica here, and at here (also stating that it may be known as the President of the Council of Ministers). However, PM is always shown first with PCM being passed off as something of a secondary title (which it isn't, but you know). The opening sentence should be: The Prime minister of Italy, also known as the President of the Council of Ministers of ItalyTherequiembellishere (talk) 02:41, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
That would be OK with me, except it should be "The prime minister of Italy", with the lowercase p as well as m. The only time the p and m can have different case is if the p is the first letter of the sentence (or article title, section name, etc). I'm just saying I think you'll get an argument from some other editors. --Trovatore (talk) 02:50, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, they have a week minimum to argue. Therequiembellishere (talk) 03:03, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
There are times when the "p" and the "m" should be uppercase, and there are times when it both should be lowercase. Other than the one instance noted by Trovatore, when would you have one in uppercase and the other in lowercase? -Rrius (talk) 04:12, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
For the opening sentence, it would be, "The Prime minister of Italy, also known as the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy…" Does that sound okay? Therequiembellishere (talk) 04:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
No. Why would it not be "The Prime Minister of Italy, also known as..." or "The prime minister of Italy, also known as the president of the Council of Ministers of Italy..."? Since the is the first word of the sentence, there appears no reason why minister would not begin with a capital since prime does. Alternatively, if minister is to be in lower case, there is no obvious reason why prime and president would not also be. In other words, we should be consistent. -Rrius (talk) 05:12, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I personally agree with you but it's been stated that minister would not be capitalised as per a previous discussion. Therequiembellishere (talk) 19:14, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
It certainly can't be the Prime minister. "Prime" and "minister" are always either capitalized together or lowercased together, except when "prime" is the first word of the sentence or article title or section header etc (other things that are like first words of a sentence). My opinion is that "prime minister" should be lowercased except when used with a proper name (as in "Prime Minister Gordon Brown"), just as "president of the United States" is lowercased except when used with a proper name ("As of 2008, President Bush is president of the United States"). It's true that "Prime Minister" is the capitalization used in Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but I would argue that that is a specifically British usage and therefore appropriate there. --Trovatore (talk) 19:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Russia use the former proposal. Therequiembellishere (talk) 20:36, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

None of which are Italy. Per "national varieties of English" we should therefore go with the earliest non-stub version. I would argue that that is my version, which used "prime minister". There was an earlier article called "Prime Minister of Italy" but it wasn't on the same topic -- it was a list of officeholders rather than an article about the office itself. --Trovatore (talk) 20:42, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm aware of national varieties, I was just responding to you saying that it was a specifically British usage; it clearly isn't. You could argue that, but you also said that the other was first but not as comprehensive as your version. Maybe it would have if people had put forth the effort. I don't know, this is the only incarnation of the page I've seen. Still, I prefer the capital PM but either than what it is now. Therequiembellishere (talk) 20:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The other version was not "not as comprehensive"; it was a completely different article that was clearly misnamed. It should have been called list of prime ministers of Italy, which is where it is now, or some variant of that title. --Trovatore (talk) 21:55, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The prior discussion was with Trovatore, who has since clarified that he believes the "p" and "m" take the same capitalisation unless "prime" begins the sentence. The Manual of Style specifically backs that up. I think that should resolve the issue.
As to the question of whether the intro should contain the term in upper- or lowercase, Trovatore is partially correct. It is true that "PM" should be capitalized when used before the name of the office holder. It is not for Wikipedia purposes the only time. For example, WP, unlike Chicago, calls for capitals when the title is used in place of its holder (e.g., "the Prime Minister announced today...") as opposed to it's being used generically ("the power to go to war will no longer reside with the prime minister."). As to our specific issue, WP:Manual of Style (capital letters) also provides the answer:
The correct formal name of an office is treated as a proper noun. Hence: "Hirohito was Emperor of Japan." Similarly, "Louis XVI was the French king" but "Louis XVI was King of France", King of France being a title in that context.
Thus, if we are saying that "Prime Minister of Italy" is a correct formal name, or so common that it is essentially a correct formal name, it should be uppercase; if not, it should be lowercase. I would argue that since the impetus for changing the article title comes from the fact that PM is far more commonly used in English, it would follow that PMofI is, in practice, a correct English rendering of the title and should be in uppercase. -Rrius (talk) 08:58, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
So the move is to be at "Prime Minister of Italy"? Therequiembellishere (talk) 14:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I would agree with Rrius that when you're using the title as a substitute for a proper name, as in the phrase "the Prime Minister said today...", then it should be in uppercase. But that's not the situation here. This article is specifically about the office, not any individual holder, and therefore the locution "prime minister" should not be capitalized. If those specific guidelines say otherwise then I think they're wrong -- they go against the generally spare WP capitalization style. The article should be at prime minister of Italy (of course, the P would appear uppercase in the article title because it's the first word of the title and for no other reason). --Trovatore (talk) 17:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

But why is President of the Council of Ministers of Italy capitalised? Therequiembellishere (talk) 18:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, I wouldn't have done so myself. However I just went and looked at president of the United States and saw that it consistently capitalizes President. I really think this is wrong; it's not in line with the capitalization principles used in WP in general, and I wonder just who got to the specific guidelines for government titles. Someone overly impressed with officialdom, maybe. But I'm not prepared to wage that fight across the whole bloody encyclopedia at the current time (I do have real work to do). --Trovatore (talk) 18:53, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Americans tend to overcapitalise "president", just as Britons overcapitalise "queen". -Rrius (talk) 18:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

The bit of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters) I quoted says that when referring to the correct name of the office, it is uppercase. The article should start "The Prime Minister of Italy". It is the of Italy part that makes the difference. Thus, the part of the article that says, "the prime minister holds specific powers..." is correct and should remain as it is. The opening of the article refers to the office in a different way, though. It is like "President of the French Republic" or "King of Norway" or "Prime Minister of Canada". In each of those cases, you would use the lowercase form when speaking generally about the office, but use the uppercase form when referring to the official name of the office. I would also note that the President of the French Republic example supports the move we discussing: the article is actually at President of France, even though "of the French Republic" is the literal translation. -Rrius (talk) 18:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah the opening sentence is describing the title, which is capitalised. "Prodi is the prime minister" is now "Prodi is the Prime Minister of Italy". Therequiembellishere (talk) 18:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, you can't actually tell whether the article is at President of France or president of France, because "president" is the first word. (It goes without saying, I hope, that even if "president of France" were intended, one wouldn't use the {{lowercase}} template, which is for things like eBay that are lowercase independently of their position of the sentence.) --Trovatore (talk) 19:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand me; I guess I thought I was being clearer than I was. What I meant by the article being at President of France is that President of the French Republic is a redirect to President of France. My point had nothing to do with capitalisation anymore. Rather, it had to do with the question of moving this page from President of the Council of Ministers of Italy to Prime Minister of Italy. As long as capitalisation came up though, the French PM article says "The President of the French Republic" and "the President of France" in the introductory sentence. Later in the article, it says "president" when referring generically to the office. -Rrius (talk) 20:00, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
But that's not our point. We've already agreed to move it to a PM of Italy version, now the question is caps or caps? Therequiembellishere (talk) 03:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Since only three voices have been heard on the issue of moving to PM of Italy, I thought it beneficial to add a previously unmentioned fact in support for people who come to this discussion later, even after the move. -Rrius (talk) 06:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Do we now have a consensus in favour of "Prime Minister of Italy"? -Rrius (talk) 06:25, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh, that makes sense. Well, I agree. Therequiembellishere (talk) 14:34, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I say two days, this time (UTC), for the new move to Prime Minister of Italy. This has already taken far too long but one day would be too fast. Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:38, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move. JPG-GR (talk) 19:19, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

After discussion (see the prior section), there is a consensus that this page should be moved because "Prime Minister of Italy" is the more commonly used term in English. There is also a consensus that, per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters), "minister" should be capitalised because "Prime Minister of Italy" is used as a correct name of the office in English.

When the article was originally moved to President of the Council of ministers of Italy (it was later moved to President of the Council of Ministers of Italy), a discussion about the move was left on the talk page. I have moved that talk page to an a subpage of this one /Archive1 so it will not be lost.

In any event, this page will not move back to Prime Minister of Italy (and would not even before I made any changes). Therefore we need an administrator to do it. -Rrius (talk) 16:57, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I already put an official request. Lol. Therequiembellishere (talk) 18:50, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Terribly sorry. I didn't think to look lower on the requested move page since we didn't have the templates here. I should have looked. I removed my request so to avoid confusion. -Rrius (talk) 05:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, it's okay. Just thought it was funny. Therequiembellishere (talk) 23:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support move to Prime Minister of Italy. Andrewa (talk) 20:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Again, Support to Prime Minister of Italy Therequiembellishere (talk) 20:34, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Move completed Hersfold (t/a/c) 19:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move back[edit]

Italy hasn't a Prime Minister, but a President of the Council of Ministers, who has a weak power. Paolotacchi (talk) 22:03, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

The standard description in English seems to be "prime minister", so in accordance with WP:COMMONNAME, I think the move is correct (though I would still prefer lowercase).
Insofar as you're making an assertion of fact, rather than legal formality, that the Italian presidente del consiglio is weaker than the general run of prime ministers, I'm afraid I think you're just wrong. To take an example, if the fact that he isn't technically empowered to fire individual ministers were actually important, then we should have seen cases of, say, the foreign minister publicly disputing the president of the council's foreign policy, and yet refusing to resign. Can't think of an example of that. --Trovatore (talk) 06:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not believe there are enough references to heads of state and government of Italy to definitively have a "common name." I would bet that the majority of people would not know if Italy has a Prime Minister or a President of the Council of Ministers. It is an official and active title, why would we not recognize it then? This is not like a scientific name where you would require a person to know Latin to look up a kitten. Nor like the Holy Roman Emperor which has not existed for 200 years that used a Latin regal title. Putting this page back to the President of the Council of Ministers seems appropriate because that is what is used in Italy in this very decade, this year, this month and day. It seems more respectful. The editors of a few newspapers and news programs make the call to rename the President of the Council of Ministers as the Prime Minister and that should not have an effect on what an encyclopedia calls an official and contemporary title. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 13:20, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
The fact is, "prime minister" is used far more often. Just do a Google News search to get an idea. It isn't a question of the news media "renaming" the office; they are reflecting English usage. No one would know what they were talking about if they used the other. Berlusconi is always referred to as the prime minister of Italy in the news; by commentators on TV, radio, etc. (including the humourous ones); and by regular people. If you asked English-speakers what he does for a living, they would say "he's the prime minister of Italy", not "he's the president of the council of ministers". Likewise, if you asked, "who is the prime minister of Italy?", they would say "Silvio Berlusconi" or "How the fuck would I know". If you asked, "who is the president of council of ministers", they would say, "the what?" Any attempt to say otherwise is merely an attempt to force the "right" term over the commonly used one, which is contrary to policy. Asking why we wouldn't recognize it is just silly. It is not a question of "recognizing" in the sense of recognizing legitimacy; rather, it is a question of recognizing in the sense of appreciating the meaning. Like it or not, and clearly you do not, the overwhelming majority of English speakers would appreciate the meaning of "prime minister of Italy" and not "president of the council of ministers". That is not only among us ignorant Yanks—I do not think most Brits, Aussies, Canucks, Kiwis, or English speakers from anywhere else would recognize "president of the council of ministers", let alone believe it is the more common way of referring to the office. -Rrius (talk) 16:05, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I doubt those that could not figure out that the President of the Council of Ministers is the same as a prime minister could explain what a prime minister is anyways. The media has renamed the position, as the Italian is clearly translated into president of the council and not prime minister. The media often shortens long titles, as can be seen with the 'czars' that U.S. administrations appoint; from their insistence of usage and repetition, the media effectively rename the titles. As for a Google search of this article's topic, "President of the Council of Ministers of Italy" receives 63,500 hits while "Prime Minister of Italy" only has 56,900 hits to it, though "Italian Prime Minister" receives 490,000 hits.
The Irish Prime Minister's article is listed under the official title of Taoiseach, which I am sure is even less understandable or explainable than President of the Council of Ministers is to English speakers. A Google search also shows that "Prime Minister of Ireland" receives 6,090,000 hits, "Ireland's Prime Minister" finds 5,040,000, "Irish Prime Minister" gets 791,000 hits and "Taoiseach" only gets 696,000 hits, making Taoiseach the last choice for the article's name per the common name policy. Yet, it stands. So why can not this article do the same with even less discrepancies in the numbers between the two options? If you want to cite common name, which is a guideline and not a hard set rule, perhaps there should be more consistency in the execution of it. Then again, I do not believe there is enough usage of either version by the public to really call "common". [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 05:29, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I just saw this comment; I know it's a month old but, just for the record, the case of Toaiseach is different because Ireland is an English-speaking country and therefore Irish English has some privileges under WP:ENGVAR. Italy is not an English-speaking country and there is no such thing as Italian English, at least for our purposes.
That's assuming Toaiseach is in fact a naturalized word in Irish English rather than being, say, just plain Irish; in the latter case we really should move it to Prime Minister of Ireland. --Trovatore (talk) 23:55, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
That is just wrong. There is plenty of usage of "prime minister of Italy" to consider it the common name in English. You don't get to change that by simply saying it is not so. -Rrius (talk) 02:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
What is just wrong? The numbers? Go to Google and type it in yourself, those numbers are correct. There is as much use of prime minister as there is president of the council. If anything, Google shows that this article should be named Italian Prime Minister, as that term received ten times as many hits as the current page title and is thus the most common. It is not like I am suggesting renaming the article to the Italian language version, but merely to the obvious translation of the title. Also, next time you are out with a group of friends, ask them what title does the head of government of Italy use. I assure you, neither prime minister or president of council are common. [tk] XANDERLIPTAK 07:29, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Technically, in Italy there is no "Prime Minister". The head of government is the President of the Council of Ministers. So keep this name is a mistake, very common, but mistake.--GiovBag (talk) 00:46, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

In Italy no one refers to the head of the government as prime minister, but only by the nickname President of the Council, premier or "Palazzo Chigi" (in reference to the official residence). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:48, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Election of the Prime Minister[edit]

I ask this on most pages of nation's with parliaments, because it's a very important fact, IMO. Does Italy's prime minister have to be someone already elected to parliament, or can someone outside the legislature be chosen? I know in some nation's the prime minister doesn't have to be an existing member of the parliament. This needs to be made clear in the article either way. --Criticalthinker (talk) 09:29, 12 November 2011 (UTC)


Is there not a DPM who is the current acting PM? (talk) 23:44, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

New Prime Minister Mario Monti[edit] DexieBoy (talk) 18:56, 13 November 2011 (UTC)