Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Napolitano see parties, poised to give premier mandate


(By Paul Virgo) (see related stories on political situation)
Rome, April 23 - Re-elected President Giorgio
Napolitano is holding a round of swift talks with Italy's
parties on Tuesday on forming a government to end two months of
deadlock after berating the nation's political class in his
second swearing-in ceremony on Monday.
Napolitano may give someone, probably from the biggest
party in parliament, the crisis-hit Democratic Party (PD), a
mandate to form a government later on Tuesday.
The head of State reluctantly agreed to serve a second
term on Saturday after the parties failed to agree on a
candidate to succeed the 87-year-old.
He stepped in as the situation threatened to further
complicate the impasse the country has endured since February's
inconclusive general election, as problems pile up for the
recession-ravaged nation.
Napolitano said the parties had behaved irresponsibly and
has threatened to quit if they refuse to form a coalition to
pass measures in a programme he recently asked a group of
experts, dubbed the 10 wise men, to prepare.
"If I find myself once again facing the kind of deafness I
ran into in the past, I will not hesitate to draw the
consequences," Napolitano said.
The favourite to be asked to form a government is Giuliano
Amato, a senior PD member who had two short stints as premier
between 1992 and 1993 and 2000 and 2001.
Another possibility is the party's rising star, Florence's
38-year-old Mayor Matteo Renzi, who came second in the
centre-left's premier-candidate primary in December and is
supported by the young Turks of the PD. Renzi, however, has
played this down.
The centre-left led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who beat Renzi
in the primary, came first in February's vote but did not gain a
working majority in the Senate.
Bersani, who was given a mandate to form a government
after the general election, ruled out forming a grand coalition
with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi People of Freedom (PdL) party.
But he failed in a bid to reach out to the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), which won about a
quarter of the vote, leaving the country in a situation of
Bersani quit as PD chief at the weekend after two
candidates he proposed to become head of state were scuppered by
rebellions within the party.
The PD is now expected to support a so-called 'government
of the president', which would also be backed by the PdL,
outgoing Premier Mario Monti's Civic Choice party and possibly
the Northern League, with a limited mandate to pass some key
reforms, including a new electoral law.
This administration is set to include institutional
figures as well as PD and PdL politicians, unlike Monti's
emergency government of unelected technocrats.
The League is in favour of being part of a broad coalition
but does not want it to be led by Amato, who is also looked upon
negatively by some parts of his own party, the PD.
The M5S has said it is against this sort of government and
so is the left-wing SEL party, which was allied with the PD in
February's election.
Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola, the leader of SEL, said it
would not back an executive "that included the Berlusconi bloc"
after talks with Napolitano.
He said the position also applied to a potential
government led by Renzi.
Vendola said Monday: "I will go into opposition with
Italy, with that country that vomits when politics is incapable
of emerging from its rituals, from its obscene liturgies".
Pino Pisicchio of the small Democratic Centre party, one
of the first representatives to meet Napolitano on Tuesday, said
Napolitano was likely to give a government mandate to someone
"within a very few hours".
"Be ready for things to move very, very fast," Pisicchio
told reporters.

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