Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

PD rejects PdL call for parliamentary suspension


Rome, July 10 - The centre-left Democratic Party
(PD) on Wednesday rejected a call from ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) Party, its coalition
partner, to halt parliament for three days so the PdL can decide
its reaction to the supreme court's allegedly over-hasty trial
call for Berlusconi's last appeal in a fraud case.
On Tuesday the Cassation Court set July 30 as the date for
the hearing, spurring the PdL to claim biased magistrates were
rushing to justice to try to eliminate Berlusconi from politics.
The three-time premier is appealing a four-year term for
inflating film-rights purchases at his media empire, cut to one
for an amnesty, as well as a five-year ban from public office.
As he is over 70 he would not serve the year in prison if
definitively convicted but have to do social work.
However the ban would kick in if, as usually happens,
parliament ratifies it. There has been some speculation that the
PD may not all vote to ban Berlusconi.
As well as calling for a three-day halt to parliamentary
business, the PdL said Wednesday it would no longer attend a
government summit set to address thorny issues like the repeal
of property tax IMU and the avoidance of a 1% hike in VAT.
But the PD said the PdL was over-reacting.
Its Senate whip, Luigi Zanda, said "it's OK if a caucus
needs a few hours to talk things through, but longer than that
is not.
"Parliament cannot absolutely suspend its work".
PD House Whip Roberto Speranza echoed Zanda in saying
parliament could not be shut down.
He said the PD would argue against a suspension at a whips'
meeting in the early afternoon.
While not blaming the PD for the Cassation Court's action,
the PdL has said this alleged latest instance of judicial
persecution against their leader could bring down the fragile
coalition with their traditional foes.

photo: Zanda

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