Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

PdL figures call for 'moratorium' on 'ethical' measures

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 22 - High-ranking members of Silvio
Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom Party (PdL) on
Monday defended their call on the Italian executive for a
moratorium on ''ethical issues'' to avoid shaking the right-left
majority coalition on controversial themes, like gay rights, and
to focus on pressing economic issues.
''Ethical issues and homophobia? I think today the
priorities are economic issues,'' the PdL's House whip Renato
Brunetta told Sky television.
''My colleagues and I, who have requested the moratorium,
wonder, well, in this climate in which economic problems
prevail, is it useful to fight over so-called ethical themes?''.
On Sunday, a number of exponents of the PdL - including
Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, ex-labour minister Maurizio
Sacconi, former equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna, and
ex-education minister Mariastella Gelmini - proposed suspending
''ethical measures,'' including a bill against homophobia.
''I continue to repeat - I am in favour of a law that
recognizes the rights of homosexual couples, just as I consider
it essential to give our country effective regulation that deals
strict and certain blows against homophobic crimes,'' Carafagna
posted Monday on her blog, www.maracarafagna.net.
Carafagna went on to explain her role in drumming up
consensus within her party in support of the bill, and said it
had a good chance of widespread support in parliament in the
near future.
''I am worried, instead, whether the government will hold.
In fact, I wouldn't want certain themes - for example, those of
ethical nature - to serve a minority as a crowbar to pry apart
the majority that maintains the executive, weakening it to the
point where it could cause a crisis that, with his usual
foresight, the (President has said) could have disastrous
effects on our country,'' Carfagna concluded.
The Italian government has taken up a number of social
issues since the new executive under Premier Enrico Letta took
office in late April, passing a law to combat violence against
women and a measure that ends discrimination between children
born in and out of wedlock.
Debate has also raged over Congo-born Integration Minister
Cecile Kyenge's efforts to push more liberal immigration and
citizenship rules, which has met a hail of criticism from the
PdL's anti-immigration ally, the Northern League party.
Kyenge has also spoken about new hate speech laws to combat
racism and xenophobia.
The minister herself has been the target of a number of
racist comments and posts by Northern League politicians, some
of whom have been thrown out of their own party or prosecuted
for the extremity of their gestures.
But within the PdL, ex-culture minister Sandro Bondi and
President of the Chamber Culture Commission Giancarlo Galan
disagree with their colleagues' call for a moratorium on ethical
legal measures.
''But what moratorium? We should accelerate on ethical
themes. The move of my colleagues is dictated by desperation.
They know that in parliament they don't have the numbers, and
when you are sure to lose, you ask for a stop,'' Galan told the
newspaper La Repubblica.
Galan told the newspaper that PdL secretary and deputy
premier Angelino Alfano supports the moratorium, whereas
Berlusconi himself does not.
The three-time premier ''is with me'', Galan told the
paper.
Galan said of his colleague Mara Carfagna: ''I don't know
what's got into her. Probably weird logic that has nothing to do
with rights. I know she was resentful because I was the first to
present a proposal on homosexual couples''.
If the PdL stops puts the brakes on ethical themes, Galan
said, it will commit ''an extremely serious error'' making a
gift ''to the left'' of a political battle horse that isn't
historically theirs.
In the past, ''Italy was divided into two churches - the
communist and the Catholic. Both of them were closed on these
themes,'' Galan said.

photo: Mara Carfagna.

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