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Parliament committee rejects Napolitano impeachment petition

Berlusconi's party snubs vote

11 February, 10:43
Parliament committee rejects Napolitano impeachment petition (ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - A parliamentary committee on Tuesday rejected a petition from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) for President Giorgio Napolitano to be impeached.

The committee backed a proposal presented by Premier Enrico Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the biggest group in parliament, for the impeachment proceedings to be dropped with 28 votes in favour and eight against.

The M5S accused Napolitano, who was re-elected for an unprecedented second term as head of State last year, of not being a fair arbiter of Italian politics and favouring the established parties.

The members of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party on the committee did not take part in Tuesday's vote.

There have been calls from within FI for it to consider calling for Napolitano's impeachment after Mario Monti confirmed Monday that he he was sounded out by Napolitano in the summer of 2011 about the possibility of taking over the reins of power. The reports have been taken as evidence Napolitano wanted to see the end of the last of Berlusconi's three governments, which fell in November 2011 when Italy looked in danger of facing a Greek-style financial meltdown.

Napolitano dismissed speculation he plotted to bring down Berlusconi's government in 2011 as "just smoke". Monti replaced Berlusconi as premier at the helm of a emergency technocrat administration that passed painful austerity measures that steered Italy out of the financial crisis. It governed until April 2013.

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