Rome

Bersani to make 5-6 proposals to Grillo reps

Cuts to political costs, conflict-of-interest law among ideas

Bersani to make 5-6 proposals to Grillo reps

Rome, February 27 - Centre-left and Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani will make five or six key policy proposals in a bid to woo anti-establishment comedian Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S) Senators and get an upper-house majority, Bersani said Tuesday night. Slashing politicians' pay, abolishing provincial governments, electoral-law reform, a conflict-of-interest law and moves to help those struggling most in Italy's deep recession will be on the core platform the PD leader hopes will persuade enough M5S Senators to vote confidence after Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, as expected, hands Bersani a government-forming mandate. The Sunday-Monday election produced a hung parliament with the PD-led alliance having a big majority despite a slim win over ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi in the House but no party gaining the upper hand in the Senate after a huge protest vote for anti-euro and anti-austerity rabble-rouser Grillo, who was boosted by a steady stream of political scandals. Grillo, who previously said he wanted to pull down the traditional parties, has since hinted Bersani's overture might be viable. The Genoese comedian pointed to Sicily, where M5S members back a PD-led government on a case-by-case basis, as a "miracle" that might be replicated on the national level. Italian media say any PD-Grillo deal is likely to be short-lived and Italians may be called back to the polls this summer.

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