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Europe

Napolitano urges deal on new govt 'without delay'

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-22

Newly sworn-in President Giorgio Napolitano urged Italy’s political parties to strike a deal on a new government "without delay" at his inauguration ceremony in parliament on Monday, calling their failure to agree on key reforms "unforgivable".

President Giorgio Napolitano urged Italy’s political parties to strike a deal on a new government "without delay" at his swearing-in ceremony in parliament on Monday.

Napolitano, 87, accused the country’s parties of being "deaf" to calls for change and called their failure to implement key economic and institutional reforms "unforgivable".

He told the parliamentarians that only a broad coalition was possible in the current circumstances and that they must swiftly form an administration capable of winning confidence votes in both houses of parliament.

Napolitano, an ex-communist with formidable political skills and a reputation for neutrality, engineered former European commissioner Mario Monti's rise to power after premier Silvio Berlusconi's ouster in 2011 and has tried to unite bickering politicians throughout the current deadlock.

His seven-year term has also seen the country's gravest economic recession since the post-war period and the challenges of a rapidly changing society that has become increasingly pessimistic.

Austerity-hit Italians, however, have consistently given Napolitano a far higher approval rating in opinion polls than party politicians.

He has campaigned on issues that politicians have failed to tackle, including prison overcrowding and the lack of opportunities for young people.

Napolitano has also called in strong terms for a reform of the electoral law, widely blamed for the current political deadlock.

His re-election by lawmakers makes him the first Italian president to receive a second mandate – a sign of the acuteness of the current crisis.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-04-22

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