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'Senate reform bill will not give more power to premier'

Italian reforms minister calls Senate reform 'government bill'

27 March, 19:10
'Senate reform bill will not give more power to premier' (ANSA) - Rome, March 27 - The Italian reform minister on Thursday told journalists that a Senate reform bill will not give more power to the premier. "In the text that we have, it will not be there," said Maria Elena Boschi, when asked whether the bill, which strips lawmaking powers from the Senate and turns it into a leaner assembly of local-government representatives, would also reinforce executive powers for the premier.

The readied bill will be taken to the heads of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) on Friday, Boschi said. PD chief Matteo Renzi is currently Italy's premier, leading a coalition with the New Centre Right, led by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. Boschi explained that the PD leadership will not formally approve the bill, as it "has already voted on guidelines" both for Senate reform and reform to Title V of the Italian Constitution to scrap Italy's provincial administrations.

The latter measure passed the Senate on Wednesday and now is in the House.

"What will be brought tomorrow to the (PD) leadership is a government text," Boschi said, adding the Senate reform bill already had support from the cabinet.

Boschi thus quashed speculation that separate bills would be presented to the Senate from the heads of parties belonging to the majority coalition. The aim of the reforms is to make it easier to pass legislation, and therefore govern Italy, and to reduce the huge cost of the country's political apparatus.