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Renzi concludes govt talks with Berlusconi

Ex-premier confirms opposition, wishes PD premier-designate well

19 February, 12:31
Renzi concludes govt talks with Berlusconi (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 19 - Matteo Renzi on Wednesday concluded government-formation consultations with three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi, who wished the premier-designate well while confirming his party's opposition. "The country needs to become a governable country," said Berlusconi after the meeting. The head of the center-right Forza Italia party had already ruled out joining a coalition led by Renzi, who was handed a government-formation mandate Monday after the resignation of Premier Enrico Letta. But he has vowed to mount a "responsible opposition".

On Wednesday he said Forza Italia would vote in favor of Renzi initiatives if deemed "in the interest of Italians".

The ex-premier, kicked out of the Senate last year for a tax-fraud conviction, has already successfully negotiated an election-reform bill with Renzi, the 39-year-old head of the center-left Democratic Party (PD). His meeting Wednesday with Renzi was his first time back at parliament offices since his Senate ouster. "We discussed the need to approve the election law on time and without any changes," said Berlusconi. The bill went before the House this week. Renzi has vowed to pass it by the end of the month. "We wish the premier-designate and his team all the best," added Berlusconi. "We're also in favor of rejuvenating the government. Today I met a premier who's half my age - a good sign for the renewal of the ruling class".