Napolitano calls on govt, parties to pass reforms
President links mandate to creating new institutional set-up15 October, 12:24
These include a new electoral law, cuts to the number of MPs and stripping the Senate of its equal status to the Lower House, although progress so far has been slow.
"We have to move forward with economic reforms and political and institutional ones, which for some time have been recognised as necessary," Napolitano said. Napolitano said he had bound his work as head of State to "proceeding with institutional reforms" after he reluctantly agreed to be the first president to accept a second term in April, when lawmakers and regional representatives failed to settle on a successor.
He said he would "take this effort forward as long as I am capable". A new election law is seen as necessary to replace the much-criticised current one that failed to produce a clear winner in February's general election.
The aim is also to change the current parliamentary set-up in which all laws must be approved by both the House and Senate, seen by many as being one of the major sources of dysfunction for Italy's institutions.
Letta's government, which is based on a fragile, unsteady alliance between his centre-left Democratic Party and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, aims to keep the Lower House as the main law-making chamber of parliament, while turning the Senate into an assembly of Italian regions.
The PdL and the PD have expressed major differences over the election law.
The PdL has said it only wants to amend the current law while the PD wants a completely new one to come into force.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, the third biggest group in parliament, is opposed to the government's plans to change the Constitution.