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M5S slams door on 'whoring father' Bersani's govt bid

Grillo also insults Berlusconi, Monti, hopes dwindle for admin

27 March, 16:40
M5S slams door on 'whoring father' Bersani's govt bid (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) - Rome, March 27 - The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) slammed the door on Pier Luigi Bersani's hopes of winning its support for a centre left-led government on Wednesday.

M5S leader Beppe Grillo reiterated his movement's position that it will never back a government formed by the established parties by describing Bersani and other members of Italy's political elite, including ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and outgoing Premier Mario Monti, as "whoremongering fathers".

"They are those who are most responsible for robbing the young generations," Grillo said on his blog, which in 2009 gave birth to the Internet-based M5S.

"Now is the time for the fatherless to send them home, one way or another. Time is on their side," added the comedian-turned-politician, whose movement holds the balance of power in parliament after capturing a huge protest vote in last month's inconclusive general election.

It was another blow to Bersani's slender hopes of breaking Italy's political deadlock. He has to report back to President Giorgio Napolitano before the end of the week after being given a mandate to form a government "certain" of winning a confidence vote in parliament last week.

Bersani, whose centre-left alliance came first in the election but failed to win a working majority in the Senate, has ruled out forming a grand coalition with three-time premier Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

So his efforts have focused on trying to reach out to the M5S with eight-point platform that reflects many of the movement's policies.

These include cuts to the number of parliamentarians and other measures to reduce the cost of politics, the recognition of same-sex unions and the introduction of a universal system of unemployment benefits.

Grillo has knocked back the overtures as he considers Bersani's Democratic Party (PD) part of a corrupt, malfunctioning system that he wants to sweep away.

The M5S's whips in the Senate and the House had reiterated this position earlier in the day in a meeting with Bersani.

M5S Senate whip Vito Crimi said the movement would vote against giving confidence to a Bersani government.

Crimi also ruled out the possibility the movement would abandon the floor of the Upper House to bring down the quorum for the confidence vote and possibly enable Bersani's centre left to prevail with its slender relative majority. He added that there was no chance of a government proposed by Bersani winning a confidence vote with the help of rebel M5S lawmakers. The centre left managed to get its candidate, former national anti-Mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso, elected Senate Speaker earlier this month after some M5S members in the Upper House defied party orders and voted for him. In the talks, which were transmitted on the Internet in a first and picked up by TV networks at the insistence of the M5S in the name of transparency, stressed that Italy needed a government.

He also said the M5S did not have a monopoly on wanting change. "I start from a premise - yes to a government, OK to governability, but without change there can be no government," Bersani told M5S representatives. "You are leading players in this change, but you are not the only players. My party feels this need (for change). "I will not form a government that has no possibility of making changes in front of it...

"There's a need to give a government to this country. I ask responsibility from those who are close to us. I ask the parties who want to have more autonomy not to prevent us in this path".

Roberta Lombardi, the M5S's House whip, said Bersani was simply regurgitating old rhetoric. "We've been hearing these things for 20 years," said Lombardi. "While you were speaking it seemed to me that I was listening to a transmission of (political talk show) Ballaro'.

"I've been voting for 20 years and hearing the same things and they are never put into practice".