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ROME: Italian centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, under fire for falling short in last week’s election, sought yesterday to rally his party behind a plan to form a minority government backed by populist leader Beppe Grillo.
Bersani, whose coalition threw away a 10-point lead in the opinion polls before the February 24-25 vote, won control of the lower house but let slip a workable parliamentary majority by failing to win the Senate.
The result has left no group able to form a government on its own and Italy facing weeks of uncertainty. A new election could be called within months if no accord can be reached between the divided parties.
In an address to officials of his Democratic Party in Rome, Bersani, a 61-year-old former industry minister, acknowledged that the result was a defeat but said the left was the only political force capable of forming a government.
“We are ready, if called on, to propose a government of change based on a core programme,” he said. “Its purpose will be to open the way forward for parliament.”
Bersani outlined an eight-point platform to be brought before parliament, ranging from stimulating growth in Italy’s stagnant economy to cutting bureaucracy and cracking down on corruption.
He ruled out any agreement with centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi, whose scandal-tainted government fell at the height of the euro zone debt crisis in 2011, saying a deal would be neither “credible nor feasible”. reuters