Rome

Italy does not need Life Senators, says Speaker

Remnant of monarchy, says Grasso

Italy does not need Life Senators, says Speaker

Rome, May 7 - Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso said Tuesday that he thought Italy could do away with Life Senators as parliament prepares for Constitutional reform to change the institutions and make it easier to govern the country. The Italian president has the power to appoint Life Senators for "outstanding patriotic merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field". Former heads of state automatically become Life Senators too. "As far as I'm concerned, we can do without Life Senators, in part because it's an institution that dates back to the period when Italy was a monarchy," said Grasso, the former head of Italy's National Anti-Mafia Directorate. Italy has three Life Senators after Monday's death of seven-time premier Giulio Andreotti. They are former president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and former premiers Emilio Colombo and Mario Monti.

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