Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

Enrico Letta looks poised to get govt mandate

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 24 - Enrico Letta, the deputy secretary
of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), is to meet Italian
President Giorgio Napolitano at 12:30 on Wednesday, when he is
expected to be given a mandate to form a new government.
Napolitano is likely to ask Letta, 46, to be the premier of
a government that has wide cross-party backing to end two months
of political deadlock after February's inconclusive general
election, with problems piling up for the recession-hit nation.
The head of State, who reluctantly agreed be to re-elected
Saturday after Italy's squabbling parties failed to agree on a
successor to him, is set to choose a centre-left candidate as
the PD is the biggest party in parliament.
However, the party is also ravaged by rifts, as seen by
Pier Luigi Bersani quitting as PD chief at the weekend after two
candidates he proposed for president were scuppered by rebels
within its ranks.
Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL)
party and outgoing Premier Mario Monti's Civic Choice party have
said they will back a broad coalition government, which is
expected to be sworn in within days.
The government should work on the based of a programme
Napolitano recently asked a group of experts, dubbed the 10 wise
men, to to pass key reforms, including a new electoral law to
replace the one that did not deliver a winner in February.
"The key questions are labor and political reform," Letta
said after leading the PD delegation in a fast round of talks
Napolitano had with the parties on Tuesday.
The administration is likely to include institutional
figures and PD, PdL and Civic Choice politicians, unlike Monti's
emergency government, which is made up of unelected technocrats.
There was speculation Napolitano wanted to give the mandate
to another senior centre-left figure, two-time premier Giuliano
Amato, but opted not to because of fears parts of the PD would
rebel in a confidence vote in parliament on an administration
led by the 74-year-old.
Amato, who has a much higher international profile than
Letta, is associated with a discredited part of the old
political class by some people.
Letta, the nephew of centre-right leader Berlusconi's
long-time chief of staff Gianni Letta, is a moderate and is seen
as having more support from the so-called young Turks in the
party.
But he is also considered close to Bersani and is not the
ideal candidate for some PD MPs.
Indeed, Rosy Bindi, who quit as PD president at the
weekend, has said she was opposed to Letta being premier and to
the PD being part of a broad coalition government.
There is even speculation some parts of the PD opposed to
any form of cooperation with Berlusconi may split from the
party.
The anti-estasblishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) has said it
is against this sort of coalition government and so is the
left-wing SEL party, which was allied with the PD in February's
election.
It is not clear whether the Northern League will back a
Letta administration after saying it would never back a
government led by Amato, who had two short stints as premier
between 1992 and 1993 and 2000 and 2001.
After February's election Napolitano first gave a mandate
to Bersani to try to form a government.
But Bersani ruled out forming a grand coalition with the
PdL party and failed in a bid to reach out to the M5S, which won
about a quarter of the vote, leaving the country in a situation
of gridlock.
Napolitano said the parties had behaved irresponsibly and
has threatened to quit if they refuse to form a stable
government this time.
"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 after being sworn-in for the
second time on Monday.

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