Minister Quagliariello rejects PdL justice reform attempt

Centre-left holds ground on bill

Minister Quagliariello rejects PdL justice reform attempt

Milan, June 28 - Italian Constitutional Reform Minister Gaetano Quagliariello shot down the idea on Friday that a constitutional amendment on justice could be included in a reform bill in an interview with the daily newspaper Il Messaggero. ''No one is thinking of introducing constitutional reform on the subject of the judiciary. The boundaries there, were put up by parliament,'' Quagliariello told the Italian newspaper. The minister admitted, however, ''it remains evident that there's a problem with justice in Italy''. Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party on Thursday filed an amendment to a Constitutional reform bill to include the justice system, a hot-button issue given the ex-premier's long-standing claim his legal woes are due to politically motivated magistrates. Justice was not initially among the areas of the Constitution set to be reviewed as part of a streamlining of government planned by Enrico Letta's left-right executive, in which Berlusconi is the junior partner. The PdL unexpectedly presented an amendment in the Senate to include it. Democratic Party (PD) Chamber Deputy Matteo Orfini warned the newspaper La Repubblica in an interview published Friday, ''No one can take action on justice. If someone tries, the government falls''. The rejection of justice reform was also reiterated by PD Senate Caucus Leader Luigi Zanda, who told the newspaper La Stampa that justice will remain outside of this legislature's constitutional reforms. Berlusconi has attempted controversial restructuring to the judiciary in the past, which were shelved amidst judicial strikes. The three-time premier has several legal headaches including convictions for using an underage prostitute and tax fraud at his media empire.

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