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Italy`s re-elected President calls for reforms

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 13:05

Rome: Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, sworn in Monday for an unprecedented second term in the country`s history, urged political parties to form a coalition government and carry out reforms.

There was a need for different political forces to form an alliance able to offer solutions to shared problems, Napolitano, a member of the former Italian Communist Party who took a pro-US and pro-Europe line, said after his swearing-in ceremony in Parliament.

"The fact that in Italy there is a sort of widespread horror for any hypothesis of entente, alliance, mediation or convergence among different political forces is sign of a regression," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

Napolitano opted for a cross-party pact in late 2011 when he appointed outgoing prime minister Mario Monti at the helm of a caretaker government amid a spiraling debt crisis.

The center-left Democratic Party (PD), the main group in parliament, the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) and Monti`s centrist Civic Choice asked the 87-year-old president to have a second term after they failed to form a new government and elect a successor to him.

Napolitano, who previously ruled out the possibility to stay on, said he finally decided to accept the appeal given the seriousness of Italy`s economic and social emergency.

He said he would carry out this "difficult test" of his strength if parties "take their responsibilities" in abandoning divergences to enact much-needed laws.

The president said Parliament`s inability to reform Italy`s electoral law, which he had repeatedly asked to change to produce a hung parliament, was "unforgivable".

Italy should meet its obligations on finances to help stabilize the eurozone, Napolitano said, adding that the country`s political parties had damaged progress made by Monti`s technocratic cabinet.

Napolitano, who plans to start consultations Tuesday to discuss the formation of the next government, is expected to name a new prime minister to lead a coalition government able to carry out urgent economic and institutional measures.


First Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 13:05
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