Centre-left bigwig says new elections if no deal with M5S
Fassina rules out technocrat govt, pact with Berlusconi07 March, 11:42
Bersani's coalition came first in Italy's general election but it failed to win a working majority in the Senate after ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right came a close second and former comedian Beppe Grillo's M5S benefited from a big protest vote.
Bersani, the chief of the main centre-left Democratic Party (PD), had already ruled out forming a grand coalition with Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
But Stefano Fassina, the PD's economic point man, said Thursday that it would also be impossible to have another technocrat government like the emergency administration of outgoing Premier Mario Monti, which has been in power since November 2011.
"We are not willing to enter any agreement with the PdL," Fassina said on Italian radio.
"If the conditions are not there for a government of change with the M5S, then it will be necessary to have new elections.
"Berlusconi's PdL does not have the credibility, above all the moral credibility, to be a partner in a phase of change.
"If you want to try for a government that continues the Monti agenda, which was resoundingly rejected by the voters, I say it's better to have new elections". Bersani on Wednesday presented an eight-point platform for a "government of change" that features some of the points of the M5S's manifesto, including cuts to the number of lawmakers and the introduction of a universal system of unemployment benefits.
Grillo, whose movement holds the balance of power in parliament, is hostile to the established parties and has said he will not back a government led by Bersani or Berlusconi.