Rome

Vendola criticizes Monti for dodging political scuffles

Premier seeks referee role in campaign, Puglia governor says

Vendola criticizes Monti for dodging political scuffles

Rome, January 3 - Left-wing leader Nichi Vendola on Thursday criticized Premier Mario Monti for having entered the election fray without wanting "to actually take part" in the political scuffles ahead of the general elections next month. Vendola, who is the governor of the southern region of Puglia and whose Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party is a principal ally of the Democratic Party (PD), slammed Monti for having what he described as a contrasting attitude in the campaign. "Monti has entered the ring with the presumption of someone who wants to participate, while at the same time wanting to be the referee and decide who has won this match", said Vendola. "There is an element of arrogance that must be rebuffed". Monti resigned last month after 13 months at the helm of the eurozone's third largest economy. Former European commissioner Monti said last month he would run for premier at the head of a group of parties willing to back his reform agenda. Vendola said Monti was dominating the television airwaves with a "Berlusconi-like ability". "I have no advice to give to Monti, who has learned the rules of politics very quickly and has taken up the TV air waves and mass media with a Berlusconi-like capacity", Vendola said. "We need to give hope to Italy that there is the possibility of change and not to continue with the devastation of the social state". "This is the way to win and to govern the future of Italy".

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