Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018

Bersani relishing prospect of Berlusconi tussle


Tripoli, December 4 - Democratic Party (PD) leader
Pier Luigi Bersani said Tuesday that he is relishing the
prospect of taking on ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi in next
spring's national elections in Italy.
Bersani was chosen as the centre left's premier candidate
when he won a primary last weekend and he is favourite to
triumph at the elections with the PD enjoying a significant lead
in the polls.
Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party is
in a state of confusion as its premier candidate is still not
known just months before the vote.
The party was meant to hold a primary on December 16 but
this looks likely to be scrapped after Berlusconi said he was
considering coming out of political retirement and standing for
a fourth term as Italian premier.
"If that's the challenge, we'll take it on," Bersani told
reporters during a visit to Tripoli when asked about the
possibility Berlusconi will be his opponent.
"I can't wait".
A series of corruption scandals affecting top centre-right
politicians in Rome and Milan have contributed to the PdL,
which is the biggest party in parliament at the moment, dropping
to third in the opinion polls.
But the party has also been suffering from a vacuum of
leadership since Berlusconi stepped back from the front line.
The PdL has been overtaken in the polls by comedian Beppe
Grillo's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is against
the current party system and wants Italy to have a referendum on
whether to keep the euro as its currency.
On Tuesday Bersani also ruled out standing for premier with
Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, the man he beat in the centre-left
primary runoff, as his deputy.
Renzi, a 37-year-old who presents himself as a force of
modernisation in Italian politics, also said he was not
interested in being on an election ticket.
"We don't have a duopoly," Bersani said when asked about the
idea of having Renzi as his running mate.
"I don't demand a monopoly, but we are an open, plural
group, we discuss things together. We are a great big team who
want to serve the country".
Renzi also reiterated his stance that, having failed in his
bid to win the primary, he will go back to being mayor of
Florence full time.
"My future is in this role," he said in Florence.
"Naturally, I hope the centre left does not lose the
determination it has had over the last three months.
"We all have to lend a hand but this should take place
without the usual debates about whether to have a single ticket,
whether to stand for parliament.
"I'm the mayor (here) and I try to do a good job. Let's try
to interrupt the (usual) chit-chat of politics in Rome".

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