Martedì, 25 Settembre 2018

Berlusconi asks govt with PD but rules out PD premier


(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, March 21 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said
he was open to forming a coalition government with the
center-left Democratic Party (PD) after exiting a
government-formation meeting with the Italian president on
"We are absolutely open to a coalition government that
intervenes with economic measures that are broadly shared," said
He was leaving talks with President Giorgio Napolitano, who
for the second straight day is meeting one-on-one with party
leaders to try and form a government and break through the
current gridlock.
Napolitano met earlier Thursday with Beppe Grillo, the
leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), who
announced shortly after talks that he would not support the
current makeup of the parliament but would instruct party
members to vote only for policies that suited its platform.
The M5S holds the balance of power in a logjammed
parliament after capturing a huge protest vote in inconclusive
elections last month.
Berlusconi said the M5S's unwillingness to compromise
Thursday left the responsibility to govern to his center-right
coalition and the PD.
Pier Luigi Bersani, the head of the PD who has repeatedly
ruled out an agreement with Berlusconi, was scheduled to meet
later in the day with Napolitano.
He is trying to reach out to the M5S, even though Grillo
considers Bersani and the PD part of a corrupt, malfunctioning
system that he wants to revolutionise and has responded to the
overtures with insults.
Roberto Speranza, PD House leader, said Thursday that his
party's leadership would continue its refusal of any broad
coalition involving Berlusconi and his center-right People of
Freedom (PdL) party.
Bersani, whose alliance came first in the election but
failed to win a working majority in the Senate, has said he will
ask Napolitano to give him the mandate to form a new government
when he meets with him personally later Thursday.
Berlusconi is against the possibility of the center left
claiming the still-vacant premiership or the presidency, which
will become vacant when Napolitano steps down at the end of his
term in May.
"They already have the Speakers," said Berlusconi after
talks with Napolitano Thursday, commenting on the fact that both
Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso and House Speaker Laura Boldrini
hail from the center left.
At the moment, no one appears likely to present an
administration capable of winning a confidence vote in the

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