Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

President says Italy not adrift, but Monti gives warning

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 28 - Germany, the United States and
the European Union on Thursday joined Italian President Giorgio
Napolitano in expressing confidence that Italy would overcome
the impasse caused by no clear winner emerging from the
country's general election.
But outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti warned that there
is a danger political populism could derail the European Union.
Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left alliance came first in the
Sunday-Monday vote.
But it failed to win a working majority in the Senate
because of the votes pulled by three-time premier Silvio
Berlusconi's centre right and the anti-establishment 5-Star
Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo.
Both Berlusconi and Grillo were accused of using populist
rhetoric in the election campaign.
Monti travelled to Brussels Thursday to meet European
Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso and other officials
amid fears that political deadlock in Rome could reignite the
eurozone crisis.
The former European commissioner, whose reform ticket
backed by centrist parties did less well than expected in the
election, said EU policies should be revised to help curtail
populism.
"There has to be a strategy... if we don't want to allow
the more simplistic forces, some would say populist ones but I
don't want to express a judgement, to try to derail European
policies," he said.
Monti took the helm of an emergency administration of
unelected technocrats after Berlusconi was forced to resign as
premier in November 2011 when Italy's debt crisis was
threatening to spiral out of control.
Napolitano said during a visit to Berlin that Italy was not
"adrift" and that he did not see any danger of the situation in
Rome reigniting the eurozone crisis.
"Italy is not adrift and I don't see any risk of contagion
because to be contagious you have to get an illness and we don't
have an illness," Napolitano told a press conference after
meeting his German counterpart Joachim Gauck.
The Italian head of state pointed out that Monti's
government would stay in power until a new administration was
sworn in.
He also said Italy would respect its commitments to the
European Union, including deficit and debt pledges, whoever
heads the next Rome administration.
"Italy cannot fail to pursue the great European road and so
it must take its responsibilities and do its part in terms of
sacrifices," Napolitano said.
Glauck shared Napolitano's assessment.
"Germans can't say we fear the risk of a contagion in
Europe," he said.
"We don't at all think that Europe is at the end of its
days. Of course there is a debate and we have to understand and
see what Italy will express".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Napolitano that she
had faith in the sense of responsibility of the political
parties that will seek to form a new government in Rome, her
spokesman Steffen Seibert said after a meeting.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Rome, meanwhile,
that he was "personally very confident in Italy's ability and
desire" to find a solution after the election produced no clear
majority.
"Because Italy has a strong democracy," Kerry added.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said after
meeting Monti that he had "full confidence that Italy would
continue to be a stable and strong member of the European Union
and the eurozone".

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