Gridlock rules as parliament opens
Bersani buys time to negotiate with blank speaker ballots15 March, 19:16
His supporters in the Senate Friday placed a can-opener on the dais. Since elections, PD representatives have been trying to forge an agreement with the M5S, which took a total of 162 seats in parliament, but so far talks have have yielded little. On Friday Grillo accused Italy's political parties of wrecking the country in an interview with German TV. "Economically and morally Italy is a pile of rubble," the gadfly comedian told Germany's principal state channel ARD. "Italians turned their backs on political parties because they have destroyed and drained our country".
"The European dream will dissolve because the economy is not moving any more". So far M5S has ruled out any form of alliance with the centre-left coalition led by Bersani, which polled most votes in the February elections but failed to win a working majority in both houses of parliament, leading to the current political logjam.
Many have cited austerity constraints imposed on Italians as a prime reason behind Grillo's success at the polls. French President Francois Hollande said at the European Union summit on Friday that the bloc had to learn the lesson from Italy's post-election impasse and be more flexible with its demands for fiscal consolidation.
His remarks were echoed by the ex-Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker who said that results from the Italian elections demonstrate a "clear rejection of EU policy" and "a massive rejection of the political class in Italy by Italians who believe in people who pretend to love them but instead are simply cunning".