Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
FLORENCE

Renzi defends 'time-wasting' charge

English
© ANSA

Florence, April 5 - Florence Mayor and rising
Democratic Party (PD) star Matteo Renzi on Friday defended his
charge that the Italian political system was wasting time as the
country continues to suffer 40 days after February's
inconclusive general election.
"I said what 95% of Italians are thinking," he said, despite
Thursday's denial from President Giorgio Napolitano who defended
the work of his 10 so-called 'wise men' charged with framing
policies the parties may agree on, with much-needed electoral
reform topping the list.
Renzi reiterated that PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani should
swallow his pride and form a government with arch-enemy Silvio
Berlusconi, or else agree to a snap election.
He argued that Berlusconi "trusted" the PD old guard much
more than he did the younger PD generation that emerged from the
election, "so it would be much easier for them to find an
agreement" on a left-right coalition.
Renzi denied plans to break from the PD and form his own
party, saying "there are enough parties already".
A PD-led alliance got a majority in the House but not the
Senate on February 25, with ex-premier Berlusconi's People of
Freedom (PdL) party running them a close second, both with
almost 30% of the vote, and comedian Beppe Grillo's
anti-establishment 5-Star movement coming in 5% behind to hold
the balance of power in the hung parliament.
While Grillo refuses to talk to the PD or PdL, damning them
as equally culpable in an allegedly corrupt and dysfunctional
system, Bersani has rebuffed Berlusconi's overtures for a grand
coalition between left and right.
On Friday Renzi said "we still really don't know who won or
lost and we haven't the foggiest idea when there will be a
government".
Renzi's "time-wasting" accusation brought a swift response
from Bersani, who accused the Florence mayor of "having the same
line as Berlusconi".
The surprise call is splitting the PD between a majority of
Bersani loyalists, who agree he should make a second attempt at
forming a minority 'government of change' after Napolitano's
experts produce their limited reform platform next week, and a
faction which is expected to push for the more charismatic and
younger Renzi to make a stronger challenge for the PD leadership
in upcoming primaries.
Bersani, backed by the party's establishment and apparatus,
handily defeated Renzi in centre-left primaries on December 2
and before Thursday's call for speedier action had been a loyal
team player despite his contention the PD must be renewed.
For several years Renzi has been calling for the party to
"scrap" its old leadership.
According to polls, a centre-left alliance led by Renzi
would have secured a majority in the general election, despite a
controversial system that militates against a clear winner
emerging. The Florence mayor is also topping polls as the most
popular choice for next premier.
Napolitano is expected to press on with efforts to avoid a
new snap vote that would prolong instability which could be
penalised by the financial markets.
But his successor may find no other way out of the
post-election stalemate.
Parliament will start electing a successor to Napolitano on
April 18 who, unlike the incumbent whose powers are limited at
the end of his term, will be able to dissolve parliament.

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