Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

'Wise men' will make proposals in '8-10 days'

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 2 - Two panels of 'wise men' set up by
President Giorgio Napolitano Saturday to try to break Italy's
post-election deadlock will take "8-10" days to make proposals
on key reforms and economic moves, the presidential website said
Tuesday.
They will address "serious, urgent and underlying problems,"
Napolitano said, stressing, on the other hand, they would not
suggest "any kind of government", a job that was up to
Napolitano to hash out with the leading parties after February's
inconclusive vote.
Addressing criticism of the men he named, Napolitano
stressed the choice had been made "in conditions of particular
urgency and difficulty" after a government-formation bid by
centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani of the Democratic Party
(PD) failed.
The president apologised that no women were among the 10.
Before meeting the 10 institutional and political experts,
Napolitano denied suggestions he was playing for time or
usurping the role of parties.
Figures from Italy's top two parties - the PD and ex-premier
Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party - were among
those nominated, but the third-biggest force,
comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo's 5-Star Movement, which
rode a huge protest vote to hold the balance of power in the
Senate, is not represented.
Two members of outgoing Premier Mario Monti's Civic Choice
party, which came in a far-off and disappointing fourth in the
February 24-25 polls, were also named.
The panels' work, Napolitano said, would be "absolutely
informal, purely reconnaissance, and have obvious time limits".
Napolitano first met Tuesday with the six figures who will
suggest moves to ease Italy's painful recession and keep it in
line with EU commitments: the head of statistics agency ISTAT,
Enrico Giovannini; Competition Authority head Giovanni
Pitruzzella; Bank of Italy Deputy Director-General Salvatore
Rossi; Giancarlo Giorgetti, a member of the Northern League and
former head of the House budget committee; the PD's Filippo
Bubbico, head of special parliamentary commissions which have
yet to get to work; and outgoing European Affairs Minister Enzo
Moavero Milanesi.
The head of State then met with the four figures charged
with proposing institutional reforms, especially of Italy's
widely criticised electoral law: Constitutional Court President
Valerio Onida; the PD's Luciano Violante and the PdL's Gaetano
Quagliariello, who framed a Constitutional reform plan under the
outgoing government, which was never enacted; and MEP and
human-rights expert Mario Mauro from Civic Choice.
Among Violante and Quagliariello's ideas which were never
implemented were: electoral reform to introduce a proportional
and first-past-the post system where voters can pick their MPs
rather than being forced to vote 'blocked' party lists; turning
the Senate into a federal chamber rather than, as it is now, a
legislative body with the same powers as the House; boosting the
powers of the premier to assure government stability; and
cutting the number of parliamentarians.
The two working meetings are aimed at "formulating precise
policy proposals that can become a target shared by political
forces," the president's office said.
All three leading forces, which have issued mutually
incompatible diktats or, in the case of Grillo, a blank refusal
to cooperate, have criticised the president's 'wise men'.
The PD has been lukewarm to the names chosen and noted that
Bersani's exploratory mandate has not been formally revoked.
The PdL has said Napolitano is wasting time, after Bersani
allegedly did the same, and there should be either a PD-PdL
grand coalition or new elections.
Grillo called the nominees "nurses" for an allegedly
gerontocratic democracy - prompting Onida to shoot back that
they should rather be called "baby-sitters" since the parliament
was in its infancy.

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