Resolute Letta puts ball in Renzi's court
Premier 'won't quit', rolls out govt policy pact12 February, 20:12
But, added Letta, "governments can only be born in parliament. My government was born in parliament". Renzi has been harrying the government to accelerate on much-needed institutional reforms and measures to boost the troubled Italian economy. The PD is the biggest group in parliament but it does not have enough MPs to be able to govern without allies from the centre and centre-right, or the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), which has adamantly ruled out working with the traditional parties.
Letta meanwhile appeared confident of winning over coalition parties, underlining his reform pact does not have an end date. "I won't set a date", he said, stressing the pact would focus on electoral reform, economic stimulus, and renegotiating EU budget restrictions.
Other key elements in his 57-page dossier, made available online, include "ambitious" reforms to Italy's school system, including a start age of five-years-old and continuing to 18. Schools should also be "safe and wired" with Internet access as part of an education system with kids at its centre, he said.
The fate of the policy pact and the future of Renzi's executive now rests in the hands of Renzi, who many speculate could seize on the current disequilibrium and make a move for the premier's palace - an ambition he's openly harbored, but one he insists on winning via the ballot box. The charismatic 39-year-old mayor of Florence said he would outline his position at a crunch party meeting Thursday. "I have read many reconstructions (of events) about the government," Renzi said via his Twitter account, @matteorenzi. "What I have to say, I'll say tomorrow at 15.00 at the party meeting. In streaming (on the Internet), frankly".
Despite the political uncertainty, Letta told reporters he was unfazed. "I'm serene," he said. "Or rather Zen-like".