Rome

Italians divided over 'wise men' panels, opinion poll

42% say playing for time, 40% back move

Italians divided over 'wise men' panels, opinion poll

Rome, April 5 - Italy is divided in its judgement of the 10 experts dubbed 'wise men' President Giorgio Napolitano has turned to for help in getting out of the country's post-election quagmire, an opinion poll said Friday. Some 40% of Italians supported the decision to nominate two panels of experts to make consensus social, economic and institutional policy proposals, while 42% said it only served to play for time. Some 28% thought the 'wise men' would be able to help the country overcome the political deadlock resulting from a hung parliament, 23% believed their role was to encourage the main political formations - the centre-left Democratic Party (Pd), the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) - to form a government, and 7% thought they would facilitate the work of parliament. Support for the 'wise men' panels is greatest among centre-left voters (59%), followed by the centre-right electorate (32%) and then supporters of M5S (27%). Nominated last Saturday, the 'wise men' were given ''8-10'' days to come up with solutions to the present impasse while the main political parties turned their attention to choosing the next president of the republic. Parliament is due to convene in a joint session to elect a successor to Napolitano from April 18.

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