Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Letta's executive faces confidence test


Rome, April 29 - Premier Enrico Letta's left-right
government faces the first of the two confidence votes it needs
to pass to be able to take power in parliament later on Monday.
Letta of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) was sworn in
as premier on Sunday after reaching a deal to end Italy's
two-month post-election deadlock with Silvio Berlusconi's People
of Freedom party (PdL) and Civic Choice group of the previous
premier, Mario Monti.
It is an unprecedented, and many would argue unnatural,
grand coalition and the government may be short-lived.
There has been speculation parts of the division-hit PD
hostile to forming a government with the party of Berlusconi,
who has been seen as their enemy for two decades, may vote
against the new government.
These seemed to have subsided somewhat, as many of the
potential rebels have promised to back Letta's executive after
he presented a relatively young cabinet on Saturday, featuring
seven women, including Italy's first black minister.
The cabinet is short on PD and PdL heavyweights, which
means it has a fresh look that is appealing to many people who
feel disillusioned with an established political class that is
tainted by scandal and has often proved ineffective.
But there are many obstacles for Letta to overcome and it
is not yet clear how much harmony has been reached over some
major policy differences between the PD and PdL.
The situation should be clearer after the speech Letta will
give in the House on Monday before the confidence vote there.
These thorny issues include Berlusconi's demand that the
government scrap the unpopular IMU property tax and return the
revenues gained from it in 2012 to respect a key pledge the PdL
made in the run-up to the election.
The PD had said it would ease IMU - which was instituted
among a series of austerity measures under Monti's emergency
technocrat government - for the worse-off, but ruled out
scrapping the tax, saying this would wreck the budget.
"For us, reimbursing the 2012 IMU and scrapping IMU for
2013 are a sine qua non," Berlusconi said.
"We told that to Letta, who gave us reassurances about this.
Now we'll see what happens".
Abolishing IMU and reimbursing the 2012 revenues from it
would create a hole of around eight billion euros in this year's
After 18:00 on Monday there will be a debate in the House
and the confidence vote will start at around 20:00.
The outcome is expected to be announced after 21:00.
Letta's executive is expected to face another confidence
vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

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