Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi tells Letta not to let EU push Italy around

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 5 - Silvio Berlusconi told Premier
Enrico Letta not to let Italy get pushed around by the European
Union on Wednesday, while reaffirming the support of his People
of Freedom (PdL) party for the left-right coalition government.
"What we need is for this government to go to Brussels and
I say 'I'm doing things this way'. We can no longer accept
certain diktats," former premier Berlusconi told T9, a
Rome-based local TV channel.
"We are the ones who have to decide what is necessary to
put our economy back on its feet".
In the campaign for February's general election, Berlusconi
blasted Letta's predecessor Mario Monti for allegedly being too
compliant to the EU in pushing through austerity policies that
eased investor concerns about Italy's debt crisis, but also
deepened the long recession the country is currently enduring.
Letta's government, which is backed by a seemingly
unnatural alliance of the centre-right PdL and the centre-left
Democratic Party, was formed in April to end two months of
deadlock after February's vote produced no clear winner.
The administration looks unsteady and may be short-lived as
PdL and PD politicians, bitter rivals since media magnate
Berlusconi moved into politics 20 years ago, continuously bicker
over a range of issues.
But three-time head of government Berlusconi said Letta's
administration was "strong" as the PD-PdL agreement sealed the
end of two decades of a "long cold war, a civil war".
He added that the government must focus on reforms to make
Italy easier to govern, including changes to the much-criticised
electoral law and a new set-up in which getting laws through
parliament would be less arduous.
He said these reforms should include changes that would
make the Italian president directly elected by the people,
rather than voted in by regional representatives and lawmakers
of the Lower House and the Senate.
"It's important that both sides support the government and
that it can pass a reform of the Constitution that can bring
direct elections to the head of state," said Berlusconi, who is
thought to hold ambitions of becoming president.
Letta's PD is divided over whether having a president
elected by the people is a good idea.

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