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ROME: Italian President Gio-rgio Napolitano is considering appointing a new technocrat government led by a non-politician as one way out of Italy’s political stalemate, officials said yesterday.
Such a solution would come into play if centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani failed to form a government after receiving an initial mandate from Napolitano, as is expected, they said.
“Napolitano wants a government with the broadest possible support that will last as long as possible,” one of the officials said.
Bersani won a majority in the lower house of parliament and says he has the right to be the first to try to form a government, although he has no workable majority in the Senate.
However, 5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo, who holds the whip hand after winning a huge protest vote, responded to speculation about a technocrat government in Italian media on Tuesday by saying he would not support such an administration.
“Technocrat governments don’t exist in nature but only political governments supported by parliamentary majorities. The Monti government was the most political government since the war,” he said on his blog. He said a technocrat premier would just be a “fig leaf” to cover the responsibilities of the traditional parties.
The stalemate has caused alarm among Italy’s European partners because of concern that instability could reignite the financial crisis that brought the euro zone to the brink of collapse before former EU commissioner Mario Monti formed a government of technocrats in November 2011.
Napolitano is charged with finding a way out of the impasse but does not begin formal consultations until after March 15, when parliament will be convened, for constitutional reasons. Politicians have used the limbo period between last week’s vote and the talks with Napolitano for both speculation and manoeuvring.
Napolitano encouraged political forces to use the time more constructively yesterday, noting in a statement that they had “ample time for a fruitful preparatory phase for the head of state’s consultations for the formation of a government”.
With no party able to control the upper house, the options for putting together a government depend on an agreement between at least two of the three main rival forces in parliament - Bersani’s centre-left, the centre-right bloc led by Silvio Berlusconi and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.