Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

Letta takes pause for thought


Rome, April 26 - Enrico Letta took pause for
thought Friday over conditions set by ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party to agree on a broadly
backed a reform government newly re-elected President Giorgio
Napolitano expects the acting head of the Democratic Party (PD)
to form this weekend.
Letta said he was "optimistic" about giving Napolitano a
"streamlined" team of 18 ministers Saturday or Sunday, when they
are expected to be sworn in.
PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano has made the abolition and
rebate of property tax IMU a deal-breaker in the negotiations.
The PD are unhappy about this and about some of the PdL
names being touted as ministers but the centre-left party, which
won a majority in the House but not the equally powerful Senate
in February, has warned rebels will be ejected after it risked
splitting and leader Pier Luigi Bersani quit over the failure of
two presidential candidates.
The new administration, which Letta calls "a government of
service" to pass economic and institutional reforms including
changing a derided electoral law, at present has the full
backing of the PD and outgoing Premier Mario Monti's Civic
Choice party.
Berlusconi, who had what Letta called an "encouraging" phone
call with the PD acting head Thursday, is expected to back it if
he gets most of the ministers and policy he wants.
The government should easily win a confidence vote in the
House Monday and the Senate Tuesday.
The PD and the PdL are the two biggest parties in
parliament, having got about 30% each in February's inconclusive
general election.
Comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement
(M5S), which got 25% of the vote to produce a hung parliament,
is refusing to work with them.
Letta appealed to M5S to "thaw" Thursday.
They rebuffed the plea but said they would vote measures on
their merits.
As well as a new electoral law that would produce a clear
winner, the government is expected to cut the number of MPs,
turn the Senate into a regional chamber, pass urgent measures
including tax breaks to boost the economy and create jobs, and
possibly try to reform the justice system.
Italy is in its deepest recession for 20 years and
unemployment has hit new heights.

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