Italy president says next government must bring reforms
December 18, 2012 8:49 AM EST
Whichever party wins Italy's next election must make wide-ranging reforms after opportunities were wasted during the turbulent legislative period now drawing to an end, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Monday.
"Five years is enough time for the next government" to undertake a series of needed reforms "during a season of budget rigour," Napolitano said during an address to the highest institutional figures, including Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Napolitano said he was "bitter and worried" that Italy's political parties had not learned to compromise in the interest of the country even after 13 months of the technocrat Monti government and that he expected each one to outline credible programmes ahead of the election.
He said parliament's failure to reform an unpopular electoral law was "unforgivably serious". Lawmakers had been arguing for months over the law, which allows party leaders to hand-pick members of parliament
Monti has said he will resign once Italy passes the 2013 budget law -- expected by the end of this week -- and his government will stay on in a caretaker capacity until the national vote, which will probably be held in February.
The former European Commissioner is under international pressure to stand in the election so he can continue his policy agenda which has so far included an overhaul of the pension system, deregulation and labour market reform.
But a poll by the SWG institute on Monday showed that 61 percent of Italians are against Monti running for a second term, with approval ratings sinking to almost their lowest level since he came to power.
Napolitano said it was important that the next government helped maintain stability and continuity by keeping Italy on the reform path pursued by Monti, which is aimed at defusing a debt crisis that threatens the euro zone.
Silvio Berlusconi, who is seeking his fifth term as prime minister, reaffirmed on Monday that he would reverse some of Monti's policies if he wins the elections, and would eliminate an unpopular housing tax as one of his first steps.
"We are in a very serious situation, because of the austerity regime that has been imposed on Mediterranean countries by Europe, where Germany played the role of hegemonist," he told his own Rete 4 television channel.
"We have had too many taxes, too many tax increases. We have to get the economy going again, and to do that we need to reduce the tax burden on businesses," he said.
Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom party has about 16.5 percent of electoral support, SWG's poll showed, compared to 31 percent for the centre-left Democratic Party and 19 percent for the populist 5-Star Movement.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer and Catherine Hornby; Editing by Stephen Powell)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- 4.7-Inch, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Models Confirmed with Similar Build, Cam Features & 300+ Screen Pixels on Release Date
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- ISIS: More Journalists Beheading To Come After James Foley and Steven Sotloff [Video]
- Moto X+1 is Likely Nexus 6 Template; Motorola Shamu is 1st Android Silver with Snapdragon 810 – Reports
- James Foley: More Chilling Information Revealed By Escaped Journalists
- James Foley’s Executioner Has British Accent—A Chilling Reminder That ISIS Has Foreign Members
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs iPhone 6: Why Forecasts Favor Mi4 as The Next Best Phone Against iPhone 6