Rome

Centre right calls for lasting coalition govt

Ex PdL house caucus leader slams six-month executive plans

Centre right calls for lasting coalition govt

Rome, April 11 - Fabrizio Cicchitto, ex House caucus leader of the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, on Thursday said the creation of a short-term government led by the centre-left to address a small number of key issues before holding fresh elections did not represent a way out of the political stalemate resulting from February's inconclusive general elections. ''If we were to create a puppet government lasting six months or, by abstaining, allowed an executive led by (centre-left leader Peir Luigi) Bersani to survive, we would be contributing only to the growth in popularity of (Beppe) Grillo's 5-Star Movement,'' he said with reference to a possibility mooted by some in the centre-left but which is opposed by the centre-right and by the centrist formation led by incumbent technocrat Premier Mario Monti. Instead Cicchitto invited parties to ''have the political, cultural and psychological strength'' to reconcile opposing positions and form a broad coalition government ''that in two-three years will do what, due to everybody's fault, hasn't been done''. ''We need to combine our strength and energy, go beyond the demonisation of Berlusconi and the direct conflict of the last few years to identify an albeit narrow path to growth,'' he added, saying in conclusion that neither PdL nor Bersani's Democratic Party (PD) could find a way out of the current impasse alone. In the February elections the centre-left won a majority of seats in the lower chamber of parliament but no party or coalition won a working majority in the equally powerful Senate. Bersani subsequently failed to garner consensus for a PD-led government, due partly to opposition from Grillo's anti-establishment M5S, which effectively holds the balance of power in the hung parliament.

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