Rome

Senate Speaker dashes M5S's hopes of govt-less parliament

Grasso says no committees without executive

Senate Speaker dashes M5S's hopes of govt-less parliament

(see related stories on political situation) Rome, April 5 - Italian Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso on Friday appeared to dash the hopes of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of seeing parliament close to fully operational before a new government is sworn in. Grasso said it would not be possible to convene the parliamentary commissions until a new executive has taken over from outgoing Premier Mario Monti's emergency administration of unelected technocrats. The M5S holds the balance of power in parliament after capturing a huge protest vote in February's inconclusive general election. But comedian-turned-politician Grillo had refused to make deals for a government with any of the established parties he says created a corrupt, malfunctioning system, which has led to a situation of political gridlock. Grillo has said Italy does not need to be in a rush to have a new government, arguing parliament can pass key reforms, such as a new election law to replace the much-criticised one that failed to produce a winner, while Monti's administration continues to take care of everyday government business. Grasso, the national chief anti-Mafia prosecutor, does not agree. "It won't be possible to call the commissions unless it is possible to distinguish between the (ruling) majority and the opposition," said Grasso. "This won't be possible until there is a government that has the confidence of parliament". photo: Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso

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