Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
TRIESTE

Renzi spars with Bersani

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)

Trieste, April 10 - Matteo Renzi, Florence mayor
and rising star in the Democratic Party (PD), took a shot at the
center-left leadership on Wednesday after not being named among
the group to elect Italy's next president.
"It would have been a pleasure to represent my region. I
was told I could count on the votes, but then some phone calls
were made from Rome..." said Renzi, suggesting PD head Pier
Luigi Bersani had influenced the outcome.
According to Italian law, every region must elect three
people who will vote along with MPs for the next Italian
president on April 18.
Tuscan councilmen from the PD, which is the majority party
in the region, voted 12-10 in favor of assembly speaker Alberto
Monaci over Renzi to be one of the region's three electors.
The PD head was quick to deny having a hand in the
decision.
"I deny having decided, influenced or even thought about
this choice that is strictly reserved to the regional council of
Tuscany," said Bersani.
Renzi's comments aimed at his party's leader, increasingly
a target for the young mayor, were not his only swipes of the
day.
At a rally in Trieste, Renzi repeated that he hopes
Italians hold another general election "as soon as possible" for
a new government.
"If it were up to me, we would return to elections tomorrow
morning," Renzi said.
A touted future leader of the PD, Renzi has been highly
critical of Bersani since last week when he said the PD leader
should swallow his pride and form a government with arch-enemy
Silvio Berlusconi, or else agree to a snap election.
For over 40 days, Italy has been without a government
following inconclusive elections that led to parliamentary
gridlock, and the make-up of the future government remains
unclear.
A PD-led alliance got a majority in the House but not the
Senate on February 25, with ex-premier Berlusconi's center-right
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.
Renzi, who lost to Bersani in PD primaries but went on to
campaign with him ahead of general elections, has complained
over the past week of gridlock that the parties - including his
own - have been "wasting time" while Italy sinks ever deeper
into the economic and social mire.
Often compared to Tony Blair, Renzi's moderate political
ideas have sometimes endeared him more to the center right than
his own center left.
The only alternative to new elections, he repeated
Wednesday, would be a Bersani-Berlusconi pact reached "as fast
as possible".
"Every day that is lost is time lost for Italy," he added.

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