Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

>>>ANSA/Monti blasted as arrogant, out of touch

English
© ANSA

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Rome, January 3 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario
Monti came under a barrage of criticism on Thursday after making
some hard-hitting comments as the campaign for next month's
general elections heats up.
Former European commissioner Monti was at the helm of an
emergency technocrat government from November 2011 until last
month while staying on as caretaker premier and he is standing
to retain office on a reform platform.
He called his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi "volatile" and
said his centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party was taking
extreme stances on economic issues.
He also suggested the centre-left Democratic Party (PD)
should suppress anti-reform elements within its ranks.
Centre-left premier candidate Pier Luigi Bersani, the PD's
leader, said he had no intention of silencing anyone in his
party.
"I have respect (for Monti), but I ask for respect for the
entire PD. We are a liberal party that will never shut anyone
up," said Bersani, adding that courage "did not mean shutting
people up, but enabling them to participate".
Italy's biggest trade-union confederation, the left-wing
GCIL, also attacked after Monti accused it of obstructing
structural economic reforms.
"He doesn't know this country," said Susanna Camusso, the
leader of the CGIL, which has strong ties with the PD.
"He offers criticism but very few proposals. If he has
decided to stand in elections he should discuss his platforms.
"We've all seen his so-called reforms," added Camusso.
"Poverty, unemployment and human frailty are all on the rise in
this country".
Berlusconi, meanwhile, blasted Monti as an academic who is
out of touch with the real world.
"Monti is a professor and professors... are distant from
reality, which they look at through the keyhole while they have
an assured salary and do not know the difficulties of
businesses," Berlusconi said on Italian radio.
Berlusconi added that Italy should have had early elections
in November 2011 when the financial crisis forced him to end his
third term as Italian premier rather than making way for Monti's
emergency government of unelected technocrats.
He also repeated criticism of the economic record of
Monti's government.
"Everything has happened in a year. There has been the
disaster of the technocrat government and we are in the full
throes of a recession," Berlusconi said.
Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola, the leader of the left-wing
SEL party, expressed irritation after Monti suggested the PD
should break off its electoral alliance with his party.
Monti said it was always good to "cut the wings" and
suggested he could govern with the PD after the elections if it
broke with the SEL.
"There's an element of arrogance (in what Monti says) that
should be rejected," Vendola said.
"Mario Monti is going around Pier Luigi Bersani to do a
dance of death for him".

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