Napolitano warns against risks of 'destabilising tensions'
Italy president warns PdL, judges not to overreach as they clash12 March, 21:01
The ex-premier's supporters were protesting against what they claim is judicial persecution of the party's leader and have threatened to boycott the opening session of parliament.
After separate talks Tuesday with PdL party secretary Angelino Alfano and later with members of the Italian judges' self-regulatory body, Napolitano released a note in which he warned against "destabilising tensions" which could harm Italy's democracy.
Responding to criticisms of Italy's judiciary by PdL leaders, Napolitano said that the idea of judicial maneuvers aimed at preventing Berlusconi from participating in the coming institutional appointments were an "aberrant hypothesis". Referring to the open clash between part of the political spectrum and the judiciary, Napolitano said that politics and justice are "not hostile worlds. They should not perceive each other as such," but, rather, they should be "united in responsibility".
The president, however, also warned the judges to not overreach their mandates. Napolitano said that he had "firmly urged those who are called to investigate and judge respect the rigorous norms of behavior," warning them against "inappropriate missions" and inviting them to "scrupulously observe the principles of a just trial, as outlined in the Constitution".
In his statement, the president said that following the uncertain situation caused by last February's inconclusive election and due to the importance of impending institutional appointments - including attempts to form a new government as well as elections for a new head of state - it is necessary to "avoid destabilising tensions for our democratic system".
During his seven-year term, Napolitano said he had "considered and confronted the essential problem of re-establishing a correct and constructive climate in the relations between justice and politics".
"In this moment (we) are unfortunately seeing an alarming, new spiral of polemics between the voices from one and the other side of the field," Napolitano said, referring to the contrasts between politics and justice.