Rome

Letta says parties must focus on reality, not fairy tales

Premier admits would have preferred another election result

Letta says parties must focus on reality, not fairy tales

(see related stories) Rome, April 30 - Premier Enrico Letta called on Italy's parties to focus on political reality before a confidence vote in the Senate for his left-right government on Tuesday. Letta of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) was sworn in as premier on Sunday after reaching a deal to end Italy's two-month deadlock after February's inconclusive general election with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party (PdL) and the Civic Choice group of the previous premier, Mario Monti. It is an unprecedented, and many would argue unnatural, grand coalition and Letta will face a big challenge to keep the alliance together, as seen in rumblings over Berlusconi's demand that the IMU property tax be scrapped. Letta reiterated Tuesday that June's IMU payment would be stopped and the tax changed, but not scrapped. "I would have liked a different outcome to the election, but the reality is what we have in front of us," Letta told the Senate. "Reality is the principle issue that a politician must put at the centre of his work, otherwise we tell fairy tales to ourselves so that we have peace of mind".

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