Quagliariello says president's words not enough

Minister warns that coalition government must protect itself

Quagliariello says president's words not enough

Rome, August 16 - President Giorgio Napolitano's words urging Italy's fragile coalition government to hold itself together are not enough to achieve that goal by themselves, the Constitutional Reform minister said Friday. Instead, the government led by Premier Enrico Letta must find concrete ways to protect itself, Gaetano Quagliariello said in an interview with ANSA. "It must itself ensure its own survival," and not rely too heavily on the president, said Quagliariello, who belongs to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party. That means members of different political parties within government must find ways to work together. The already shaky coalition has been threatened by the recent court decision upholding a fraud conviction against ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Some members of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) say they cannot work with a party led by a convicted criminal, while members of the PdL party want broad government support in forcing a pardon for Berlusconi and protection of his Senate seat.

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