Italian PM, President vow to tackle political crisis

Rome, Sep 30 — Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta said Sunday that they would seek solutions to face the current political crisis triggered by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

In the present “climate of uncertainty,” Napolitano and Letta have agreed to “illustrate in parliament, which is the seat for all decisive clarifications, their evaluations on the event and on what to do,” reported Xinhua citing a statement from the presidential office, after both leaders concluded their meeting late in the day.

“We are in a somewhat cryptic phase. I will try to see if there are any possibilities to continue the legislature,” Napolitano said.

The alliance between the PdL and Letta’s center-left Democratic Party (PD) was thrown into crisis Saturday when Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that all five ministers in Berlusconi’s party, including himself, were resigning.

The three-time prime minister and media entrepreneur, who turned 77 Sunday, has blamed the government for putting on ice the postponement of a hike in the value added tax (VAT), that Letta said “was agreed upon by PdL and PD”.

Tensions have mounted in the fragile government since Italy’s supreme court in August upheld a verdict convicting Berlusconi with tax fraud. His sentence was four years in prison commuted to one year of social work or house arrest, while a lower court will have to reconsider the length of a five-year ban on politics.

Based on a 2012 anti-corruption law, a special Senate committee meeting Oct. 4 is scheduled to vote to strip him of his seat.


Source: IANS

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