(ANSA) - Rome, April 1 - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi on
Tuesday said his majority Democratic Party (PD) and the
opposition Forza Italia (FI) party of ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi were still largely on common ground with regard to
reforms despite recent disputes.
"It seems to me that the deal between the majority and FI
is holding up," said Renzi. "We'll see who the true reformers
are when it's time to vote".
Renzi's relationship with Berlusconi has been key since his
rise to premier earlier this year.
Even before his party voted to oust his predecessor, Enrico
Letta, Renzi was reaching across the aisle to negotiate with the
center-right media magnate on election reforms - a move that
distanced him from PD stalwarts, but ultimately cemented his
reputation as a quick-acting reformer, often referred to as
"demolition man", a moniker he relishes.
But many wondered if the common ground had run its course
this week after Renzi's government passed a decree Monday that
will largely strip the Senate of its lawmaking powers, reduce
the number of lawmakers, and scrap Italy's provincial
governments in an effort meant to streamline governance and cut
On Tuesday, the FI House whip likened Renzi to a "South
American" dictator for the alleged heavy-handedness of the
decree, and accused the center-left premier of using the law to
defang the body in which his Democratic Party (PD) does not
currently hold a majority.
Brunetta formally outlined his opposition in a letter to
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, asking him to back FI's
request to open the "unconstitutional" law to amendments before
it is enacted.
Renzi, however, has been adamantly opposed to changing the
law whatsoever, presenting it as a decree as opposed to a bill
that would have needed approval in parliament before going into