Rome

Bersani vows to win Italian elections without 'fairy tales'

'Real battle starts now' says centre left's premier candidate

Bersani vows to win Italian elections without 'fairy tales'

(see related story) Rome, December 3 - Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani said he will lead Italy's centre left to victory at next spring's national elections without deceiving voters about the tough choices ahead. "We have to raise the bar and win the elections without telling fairy tales," said Bersani, who beat Florence Mayor and fellow PD member Matteo Renzi in Sunday's centre-left primary runoff to select the premier candidate. "Now the real battle starts," added the 61-year-old former minister at a rally of supporters. "I ask you once again to give all the commitment and conviction you have for this journey we take together. "Here we don't have just one man, it's necessary to govern with the people. "Let's use strength, energy and a little good cheer, which is a characteristic of our people. And let's have a little serenity too. "There's no need to get anxious or be afraid. We should be relaxed, strong and determined". The party chief prevailed with over 60% of the votes cast on Sunday after also coming top in the first round of the primary, in which three other candidates ran in addition to him and Renzi. Bersani, a veteran of Italy's former Communist party, praised Renzi, a 37-year-old who presented himself as a modernizer. He said Renzi was a "precious resource" for attracting new voters to the PD. "I recognise that Renzi gave a strong presence and freshness to the primaries," Bersani added. "His contribution helped to give sense to them and make them an authentic experience".

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