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ROME: Surprise victories for Italy’s centre-left in securing the posts of speaker in both houses of parliament have done little to unblock a political impasse which threatens to create renewed instability in the eurozone.
“The main issue — the existence of a governing majority — remains a puzzle without a solution,” said left-wing daily La Repubblica. Italy’s new parliament on Saturday elected a former UN human rights official, Laura Boldrini, as Speaker of the lower house. Boldrini, 51, entered parliament for the small Left, Ecology and Freedom party in a centre-left coalition that failed to win an overall majority in elections on February 24-25.
While Boldrini’s election was widely expected, the upper house made a surprise decision to elect Pietro Grasso, the former head of Italy’s anti-mafia agency who put hundreds of mafia members in jail as a judge before joining parliament this year as a senator for the main centre-left Democratic Party (PD).
Since Grasso attracted 12 votes more than there are lawmakers in the centre-left coalition, he had to have picked up votes from the new force in Italian politics, the anti-austerity Five Star Movement, which finished third behind former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition in the election.
The leader of the centre-left coalition, Pier Luigi Bersani, has for days been wooing the Five Star Movement, whose support he needs to form a government, but whose leader Beppe Grillo has bluntly refused to do business with him. AFP