Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Monti rejects Berlusconi's claim of PD vote share

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 13 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti
Wednesday rejected ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's claim that a
vote for his coalition was effectively a vote for the Democratic
Party (PD).
"This is a profound falsehood, which I believe Berlusconi
knows," Monti told journalists in Perugia.
"In the PD-SEL (center-left) coalition I see many profound
obstacles to reforms undertaken by my government that are
essential to create a more dynamic Italian economy and society,"
Monti said.
Leader of the left-wing SEL party and center-left coalition
partner Nichi Vendola was opposed to Monti's emergency
technocrat government, unlike coalition leader Pier Luigi
Bersani's Democratic Party (PD), which supported it.
Both Vendola and the outgoing premier have said they would
not be in the same government together, although the Italian
press has speculated they might reach an accomodation.
With around 10% of projected votes, Monti's coalition has
said it will support any party, right or left, if it upholds the
reform policies his government has implemented since replacing
Berlusconi at the peak of the euro crisis near the end of 2011.
Polls have suggested that Bersani's PD is favoured to win
the elections, but may not have a working majority in the
Senate.
This has led to speculation that Bersani could make a
post-election pact with former European commissioner Monti, who
is standing for office on a reform platform and polling fourth
for the February 24-25 vote.
Monti said that he had no regrets about getting into
politics when he stepped in at the height of the euro crisis 15
months ago.
Speaking at an ANSA forum, Monti said he had been happy to
accept the invitation from President Giorgio Napolitano to
become a life Senator and take over from Silvio Berlusconi with
Italy on the brink of a Greece-style crisis.
"It was his choice, not mine," said the former European
commissioner.
As for his decision to run for premier at the head of a
reformist coalition, criticised by Berlusconi, Monti said "up
till now, I haven't regretted it (but) everything depends on the
result".
But he added that the move, which he has repeatedly said
was against his nature, came at the cost of "great personal
sacrifice".
The premier denied having dropped reservations about being
in government with Vendola.
"There has not been any type of opening on my part with
Vendola," Monti told ANSA.
Monti said political interference in the Italian economy
was "depressing".
The former European Union trust-buster cited an ongoing
corruption probe involving government-controlled aerospace giant
Finmeccanica and voiced the hope he might be able to change
things if he had a continuing part in government following the
elections.
Monti said that he did "not exclude that a fairly long
period of collaboration with all available forces" could be
needed as Italy exits from its financial emergency.
Monti said an election win for Berlusconi would pose "big
risks of reviving the financial fire" Italy was going through
when Monti took over from Berlusconi 15 months ago.
In Germany, honorary Christian Social Union (CSU)
President Edmund Stoiber also said on Wednesday that if
Berlusconi wins in the upcoming elections, "all of Europe will
pay the price".
The former Bavarian regional chief said at a political Ash
Wednesday rally in Passau that "one can only hope that the
Italian people hold up a red card in the coming elections".
Monti accused Berlusconi of making "unlimited promises" in
his election bid.
Monti promised a "radical" plan for schools in Italy and to
cut expenses for Italian families.
His plan, which he outlined at the ANSA forum, includes
more school resources, evaluating quality standards, new
policies for staff, and "sustaining families by reducing costs
incurred".
It would be a "great idea" to vote a woman as next Italian
president, Monti said, and added he was happy he had three women
in key posts, at justice, interior and labour.

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