Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Monti drops impartial front, fires on left and right


Rome, January 3 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario
Monti on Thursday fully shed the front of diplomacy and
impartiality used up to now during his emergency technocrat
government and opened fire on the right and left as he campaigns
to keep office in next month's general elections.
Former European commissioner Monti, who is standing on a
reform platform, hit back at Silvio Berlusconi after his
predecessor accused him of lacking credibility.
"Berlusconi has been volatile in both his personal and
political affairs recently," Monti told Rai television.
Berlusconi has alternated of late between furious criticism
of Monti and praise for the former European commissioner.
Last month Berlusconi offered to withdraw his bid for a
fourth term as premier if Monti agreed to lead a broad
centre-right coalition at the elections.
On Wednesday, however, he accused Monti of breaking a vow
not to enter the political fray that he made when he was
appointed premier in November 2011 after Berlusconi was forced
to resign as prime minister by Italy's debt crisis.
"Monti does not have credibility any more," Berlusconi
said. "He was put at the head of a technocrat government with a
promise - he said he would not take advantage of the promotion".
Berlusconi has also accused Monti's emergency government of
unelected technocrats of being too "German-centric" in pursuing
austerity policies.
Monti also responded to this criticism on Thursday, saying
Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party was
increasingly adopting extreme positions on economic affairs.
Monti blamed the new direction on former civil service
minister Renato Brunetta, an academic, economist and a senior
PdL spokesman on economic affairs.
"From the point of view of the general economy, Brunetta is
taking the PdL to extreme, sectarian positions with the
authoritativeness of a professor and a certain academic
stature," Monti said.
Monti also had ammunition for the Democratic Party (PD),
which he said should silence the anti-reform elements within its
"(PD leader Pier Luigi) Bersani should be brave and silence
the conservative part of his party a little," Monti said.
Monti said his government's attempts to introduce
structural economic reforms had been hampered by opposition from
Italy's biggest trade union confederation, the left-wing CGIL,
which has strong ties with the PD, and from Stefano Fassina, the
PD spokesman on economic affairs.
He also mentioned the left-wing SEL party, with which the
PD has formed an electoral alliance.
Monti suggested that he might be able to govern with the PD
if the elections failed to produce a clear winner and if the
centre-left party dropped its coalition with the SEL.
"Cutting off the (extreme) wings is a good thing," Monti
said when asked about a possible post-election pact with
"The real contest is between those who want to conserve
existing structures and those who want to innovate a little
The former European commissioner said a possible name for
his election platform could be Con Monti per l'Italia (With
Monti for Italy).
He added that he hoped Bersani will present convincing
arguments in election campaign but still lose. Monti also hit
back at Fassina's claim that he would be at the helm of a list
of elitist "Rotary Club" candidates.
"I don't know what the Monti list will be yet. Anyway I've
always fought against lobbies," Monti said.
"I suggest Fassina updates himself a little".

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