Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Bersani talks to parties in bid to form government

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle)
Rome, March 26 - No deal was cut to form a
government in meetings between ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's
People of Freedom party (PdL) and centre-left leader Pier Luigi
Bersani on Tuesday.
The PdL has been calling on Bersani to reach an agreement
with it to form a grand coalition for government, and on Monday
he also ruled out a proposal from Berlusconi for PdL Secretary
Angelino Alfano to be deputy premier.
Following Tuesday's talks, Alfano said the positions of the
two coalitions remain very "distant".
"If they remain far apart over the next 48 hours, we will
repeat that there is the need for the country to vote again,"
Alfano said.
Bersani met with representatives of many of Italy's main
political parties throughout the day in his bid to form a
government after the country's February 24-25 general elections
resulted in a hung parliament.
The Democratic Party (PD) chief, whose coalition won a
majority in the Lower House but failed to take enough votes to
clinch a working majority in the equally powerful Senate, met
Alfano together with his coalition partner Roberto Maroni,
leader of the regionalist Northern League, mid-afternoon.
On Tuesday former industry minister Bersani also met with
representatives of the centrist Civic Choice led by outgoing
premier Premier Mario Monti.
Civic Choice is calling for a coalition government formed
by the greatest possible number of political parties to pass key
reforms.
On Wednesday Bersani will meet with members of the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) led by former comedian
Beppe Grillo, which is key to obtaining the support of
parliament.
Grillo has repeatedly ruled out backing a Bersani-led
government although since the election of the PD's candidate
Pietro Grasso as Senate Speaker with support from 'dissident'
M5S Senators, cracks in the movement's hard line have started to
appear.
Bersani is due to return to President Giorgio Napolitano
on Thursday to say whether his government proposal has
sufficient support to pass a confidence vote in parliament.
But media pundits have expressed pessimism over his
chances to successfully form a government and have predicted
that Italians will be forced to return to the polls.

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