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Renzi warned he can't ride roughshod over allies

Deputy Premier Alfano says new govt won't be formed without NCD

16 February, 13:44
Renzi warned he can't ride roughshod over allies (see related story) (ANSA) - Rome, February 16 - Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano warned Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi on Sunday that he cannot ride roughshod over his allies if he wants to take the helm of government.

Renzi is expected to be given a mandate from President Giorgio Napolitano in the coming days after the ambitious Florence mayor scuppered outgoing Premier Enrico Letta's coalition administration this week.

The 39-year-old, who is also mayor of Florence, got the PD to pull its support for the government on Thursday, which prompted Letta, who is also a PD man, to resign on Friday.

Napolitano held consultations with the political parties on Friday and Saturday and there had been talk of Renzi being given a mandate to form a new government immediately after or on Sunday.

That mandate, however, is now not expected to be handed to Renzi before Monday as the PD leader seeks to find an agreement with the same parties who backed Letta's government, above all Alfano's New Centre Right (NCD).

The main issues are the composition of the new cabinet, amid reports Alfano does not want to be stripped of his post at the interior ministry and is against the possibility of the number of NCD ministers being cut from four, and the government's programme.

Alfano warned Renzi Sunday that if the NCD's demands were not met, the new government would not be born. The PD, the biggest group in parliament, needs the support of the NCD in the Senate with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) set to remain in opposition. "It's simple. We are decisive for the creation of the new government," Alfano told a meeting of the NCD, which is made up of centre-right moderates who split from Berlusconi's loyalists in November when FI pulled its support for Letta's government.

"If we say no to this government, it won't come to life".

Alfano stressed that the "future of Italy" is at stake.

"We are playing for everything" he added.

He also said, however, that he hoped he could reach an agreement with Renzi for a government that would set off a "march" towards a "liberal revolution" that three-time premier Berlusconi failed to bring about.

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