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Center left heralds election law deal with Berlusconi

'Positive common ground' says PD

04 March, 16:45
Center left heralds election law deal with Berlusconi (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, March 4 - The center-left PD praised a deal reached with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia on Tuesday regarding a new election law staked to Premier Matteo Renzi's reputation as an effective reformer. "It's positive that we've found common ground, a sign that the road to reform can proceed," said PD Spokesman Lorenzo Guerini. "We're determined to bring forward this battle for change.

It's a chance we can't allow ourselves to miss, for the good of the country". Earlier Tuesday Berlusconi said he had accepted that the new election law should only apply to the Lower House. Berlusconi said he acknowledged with "dismay" that Democratic Party (PD) leader Renzi was having difficulty getting the governing coalition to back the agreement.

Junior government partner the New Centre Right of Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is calling for the new election system to only come into place once other institutional reforms have been introduced. These include moves to strip the Senate of its law-making powers and turn it into a leaner assembly of local-government representatives - another issue Renzi and Berlusconi have a deal on. "We confirm the agreement...and reiterate our full cooperation on this issue," said Berlusconi, "and our clear opposition to the government on economic and social issues".

A vote on the law is set to go to the floor of the House later Tuesday.