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Monti tells Italy's centre left to silence anti-reformists

Outgoing premier hints at possible post-vote pact with PD

03 January, 11:27
Monti tells Italy's centre left to silence anti-reformists (see related stories) (ANSA) - Rome, January 3 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Thursday called on the Democratic Party (PD) to silence the anti-reform elements within its ranks and hinted that an alliance with the centre-left party may be possible if next month's general elections do not produce a clear winner.

"(PD leader Pier Luigi) Bersani should be brave and silence the conservative part of his party a little," Monti, who has been at the helm of an emergency technocrat government since November 2011 and is standing to retain office on a reform platform, told Rai television. Monti said his government's attempts to introduce structural economic reforms had been hampered by opposition from Italy's biggest trade union confederation, the left-wing CGIL, and from Stefano Fassina, the PD spokesman on economic affairs.

He also mentioned the left-wing SEL party, with which the PD has formed an electoral alliance.

Monti suggested that he might be able to govern with the PD after the elections if the centre-left party dropped its coalition with the SEL. "Cutting off the (extreme) wings is a good thing," Monti said when asked about a possible post-election pact with Bersani.

"The real contest is between those who want to conserve existing structures and those who want to innovate a little more". The former European commissioner said a possible name for his election platform could be Con Monti per l'Italia (With Monti for Italy).

He added that he hoped Bersani will present convincing arguments in election campaign but still lose.

Monti also hit back at Fassina's claim that he would be at the helm of a list of elitist "Rotary Club" candidates.

"I don't know what the Monti list will be yet. Anyway I've always fought against lobbies," Monti said. "I suggest Fassina updates himself a little".