Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Bersani, Monti urge 'prompt solutions' for govt, president

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 4 - Centre-left Democratic Party (PD)
leader Pier Luigi Bersani and outgoing Premier Mario Monti on
Thursday agreed "prompt solutions" were needed to forge broad
agreement around a possible new government and the election of
Italy's next president.
The two leaders called for the "widest possible backing by
parliamentary forces" to break the stalemate after February's
inconclusive general election and also elect a replacement for
President Giorgio Napolitano.
They said they would "coordinate moves", including the
upcoming presidential election.
Bersani, who came first in the general election but does not
have a majority in the Senate, told Monti, who ran in a
disappointing fourth, that the only way out of the impasse
remained a minority PD-led 'government of change' running in
tandem with a broader 'convention' on institutional reforms,
including changing Italy's much-criticised electoral law to
produce a clear winner.
Last month Bersani made a futile week-long attempt to lure
Senators from comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star
Movement before handing the ball back to Napolitano.
The president named 10 'wise men' to come up with a platform
for possible consensus but Bersani is refusing to join
second-placed ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi in a grand coalition
while third-placed Grillo, who has the balance of power in the
Senate, won't talk to either of them.
Napolitano's successor will be named in voting by a joint
session of parliament starting April 18, about a month before
the president's term ends.
Several names have been touted including ex-premiers Romano
Prodi and Giuliano Amato as well as former EU commissioner Emma
Bonino but none currently appears likely to garner the broad
support that is usually expected.
Pundits say the next president may dissolve parliament and
call fresh elections. Napolitano, who has insisted on avoiding
another vote with Italy in deep economic and social trouble and
financial markets liable to penalise protracted instability, is
in any case unable to do this because of a limitation of powers
in the last six months of a president's term.
Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, seen as a future centre-left
leader, on Thursday said Italy was wasting time and called for a
snap vote if Bersani and Berlusconi could't agree to rule
together.
Napolitano said he did not think this was the case and
defended the wise men's work.
The surprise break with the party line from Renzi, who is
seen as a more centrist successor to Bersani with broader
appeal, split the PD into those who agreed it should seek a deal
with Berlusconi and those who supported their leader's rejection
of this.
Some PD members accused Renzi, who has gone further in some
reform calls than Bersani by proposing the complete abolition of
party funding, of trying to "drive a wedge down the middle of
the party".
Renzi was handily defeated by Bersani in primaries for the
PD leadership last year but pundits think the media-savvy
upstart, who openly campaigned to "scrap" the party's
establishment, might beat the less telegenic and more
traditional Bersani if the PD manages to fit in other primaries
before the next election.

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