Rome

Letta says victorious PD would seek Monti's support

'Monti is Bersani's crutch' Alfano responds

Letta says victorious PD would seek Monti's support

Rome, January 9 - A victorious Democratic Party (PD) in next month's election would ask outgoing premier Mario Monti to support a government under leader Pier Luigi Bersani, the deputy head of the PD said Wednesday. "We aim to win the election and after, we will ask ...the centre to support the Bersani government," said Enrico Letta. The statement from the left-leaning PD was a surprise, given that Monti, running on his own pro-market reform ticket, has signalled he would not serve under Bersani after the February 24-25 election. It also annoyed Angelino Alfano, secretary of the right-wing People of Freedom (PdL) party founded by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Alfano, who could stand as the party's candidate for premier, claimed the statement indicated that Monti and the PD were working together, despite the outgoing premier's insistence he is an alternative to the right and the left. "It is official: Now Monti is Bersani's crutch," said Alfano. "Thanks to the Democratic Party for clarity". The PD has a 15-point lead over the PdL with Monti 10 points behind in third, according to a rough aggregate of recent polls.

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