Napolitano reassures as parties spar
'Berlusconi wasted chances to show responsibility' says Bersani01 March, 18:03
'I'm not interested in a new vote,' he said in a speech at Berlin's Humboldt University.
Meanwhile Italy's centre-left leader, Democratic Party (PD) chief Pier Luigi Bersani, said on Friday that he would propose a new government united by a specific political programme consisting of seven or eight items.
Bersani's centre-left alliance came first in the vote, but it failed to win a working majority in the Senate because of the votes pulled by three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of Beppe Grillo, a former comic capable of drawing large crowds to rallies with foul-mouthed polemics against the status quo. The PD has ruled out the prospect of forming a grand coalition with Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party and it is trying to reach out to Grillo, even though the rabble-rouser has said he will not vote for confidence in a government led by Bersani or Berlusconi. 'Call it as you like - a minority government, a purpose-government, I don't care. Next Wednesday I will propose it to party leadership, then to the head of state (President Giorgio Napolitano),' Bersani told Rome daily La Repubblica. 'I call it a government of the change for which I am assuming the responsibility to lead'.
A Bersani-led government would propose 'seven or eight points and asks for a parliament confidence vote from those who are for it,' he said.
Bersani said there was no chance of him working in government with three-time premier Berlusconi. 'He had opportunities to show himself to be responsible,' Bersani said. 'He has wasted all of them'. Bersani told Grillo that his 'insults don't scare me' after the comedian described the PD chief as a 'dead man talking' on his blog. He has said he was open to the possibility of offering high state offices, such as those of speaker of the House and of the Senate, to the M5S and the PdL. 'On institutional roles, we are ready to examine all scenarios,' Bersani said. Bersani blamed the centre left's disappointment at the polls on his backing for outgoing Premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat government. 'It is undeniable that the necessity of not breaking with Monti affected us' and the centre-left coalition 'paid' for it, Bersani said. 'I want to overturn the pattern'.
He said his priorities included measures to boost employment, better social safety nets, reducing the number of parliamentarians and the salaries of local politicians, tightening anti-corruption laws and regulating conflict of interests'.
'Each of these points will result in a specific legislation bill, which day after day I will publish online, starting from Thursday morning,' said Bersani.