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Financial Times urges Bersani to clarify party direction

Must say if will follow Monti agenda says British newspaper

Financial Times urges Bersani to clarify party direction

Rome, December 5 - The first task of newly re-elected Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani must be to clarify his party's direction, the Financial Times newspaper said Wednesday. The FT, an influential British newspaper, said Bersani should be clear with voters on where he stands on reforms already implemented by Premier Mario Monti and his technocrat government. Bersani's "first task is to clarify whether his government will follow the path traced by Monti" in such areas as public finance, pension and labour-market reforms, and public spending cuts. In an editorial following Bersani's victory Sunday in PD primaries, the newspaper said clarity from Bersani - a 61-year-old former Communist - is also important for Italy's credibility in the eyes of financial markets and investors. Markets are said to be concerned by the PD's alliance with the smaller leftist SEL party, although Bersani has already signalled he will not deviate from Monti's adherence to EU-mandated fiscal discipline. Polls suggest that Bersani could become the country's next premier in elections slated for February or March. Bersani's PD party stands a good chance over former premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, which is in a state of confusion as its candidate for premier is still not known just months before the vote. But the PD will also face competition from comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which opposes the current party system and wants Italy to have a referendum on whether to keep the euro as its currency.

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