Rome

Letta hopeful of stability but won't stay at all costs

Premier says govt's fall would be a 'crime'

Letta hopeful of stability but won't stay at all costs

(By Paul Virgo) (see related wrap on Berlusconi) Rome, August 2 - Premier Enrico Letta said Friday that it would be a "crime" if his left-right government collapsed and he was hopeful of stability after the supreme court upheld a tax-fraud conviction against Silvio Berlusconi. But Letta, who has only been at the head of government for just over three months, also warned that he will not continue at the helm of government "at all costs" if the turmoil becomes too much after Silvio Berlusconi's tax-fraud conviction was upheld. The already fragile government is seen as in greater peril after the ruling, which makes Berlusconi ineligible to run in future elections. Letta told a news conference that he was hopeful the "interests of the country will prevail" but admitted it is a "delicate moment" for Italy. "It would be a crime not to keep going, to stop in the worst way, because the government's work is starting to bear fruit," Letta told a meeting of the small centrist Civic Choice party of his predecessor Mario Monti, which supports his administration, later on Friday. "The results are within reach and we can already touch them". Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) government has so far said it will keep backing the executive and so has Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD). But the strained alliance between traditional foes is under huge pressure, with PdL MPs rallying around Berlusconi while many PD lawmakers enthusiastically stress that their party should vote to have Berlusconi stripped of his status as Senator. Letta said that political instability is the last thing Italy needs. The country is still battling to emerge from its longest recession in over two decades and it flirted with a Greek-style meltdown less than two years ago, when Berlusconi was forced to step down as premier at the height to the eurozone crisis to make way for Monti's emergency technocrat administration. "The stability of the government is fundamental, including at the international level, as it's one of the main factors to attract foreign investment," said Letta, whose government took power in April to end two months of political deadlock after February's inconclusive general election. One factor working in Letta's favour is that the parties are aware that, if the government collapses and they return to the polls, the outcome is likely to be the similar to February's inconclusive result. This is because of a much-criticised election law that makes it hard for coalitions to win working majorities in both the Lower House and the Senate. If anything, a chaotic end to Letta's government and snap elections could favour the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which won around a quarter of the vote in February, coming a close third behind the coalitions led by the PD, the biggest group in parliament, and the PdL.

Lascia il tuo commento

Condividi le tue opinioni su Gazzetta del Sud online

Caratteri rimanenti: 400

Le altre notizie

i più letti di oggi

Natalina tornava dal lavoro

Natalina tornava dal lavoro

di Salvatore De Maria