Italian centre left may reconsider public-funding proposal
Politics 'not just for billionaires' says leader Bersani12 March, 17:59
"We are very ready to discuss our proposal on the review of public funding but we are not of the idea that politics is just for billionaires," Bersani told state broadcaster RAI. "We are talking about a new logic using small private funds, but this does not go far enough: what is needed is a law regulating the transparency of parties' inner workings," he said. Bersani's comments came in response to a challenge by former comedian Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) that took 163 seats in recent parliamentary elections, to his centre-left Democratic Party (Pd) to commit to renouncing public funding like his grass-roots movement. The centre-left coalition came first in last month's election but failed to win a working majority in the Senate after ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre right arrived a close second and M5S captured a huge protest vote.
Pd representatives are currently exploring the possibility of obtaining M5S support for at least some of its government proposals, although Grillo has repeatedly ruled out voting confidence in a Bersani-led executive.