Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Italy Forms New Government After 2-Month Stalemate - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Italian Prime Minister Designate Enrico Letta (R) announces his cabinet list after a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Italy, 27 April 2013 (EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI)

Italian Prime Minister Designate Enrico Letta (R) announces his cabinet list after a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Italy, 27 April 2013 (EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI)

Rome, Associated Press—A coalition of Silvio Berlusconi’s forces and center-left rivals forged a new Italian government Saturday, an unusual alliance that broke a two-month deadlock following inconclusive elections in the recession-mired country.

The daunting achievement was pulled off by Enrico Letta, a center-left leader who will be sworn in as premier along with the new Cabinet on Sunday at the presidential Quirinal Palace.

Letta, 46, is a moderate with a reputation as a political bridge-builder. He is also the nephew of former premier Berlusconi’s longtime adviser, Gianni Letta, a relationship seen as smoothing over often nasty interaction between the two main coalition partners.

Serving as deputy premier and interior minister will be Berlusconi’s top political aide, Angelino Alfano. He is a former justice minister who was the architect of legislation that critics say was tailor-made to help media mogul Berlusconi in his many judicial woes.

The creation of the coalition capped the latest political comeback for Berlusconi, who was forced to resign in 2011 as Italy slid deeper in to the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.

Berlusconi, a fervent anti-Communist, views Italy’s left as a personal nemesis, and Letta’s Democratic Party has some of its roots in what was the West’s largest Communist Party.

The new premier, Letta, expressed “sober satisfaction over the team we put together and its willingness” to form a coalition.

President Giorgio Napolitano, who tasked Letta with creating a government out of bitter rivals, called upon the coalition partners to work “in a spirit of absolute, indispensable cohesion” as they work for sorely needed political and economic reforms.

“I hope there is maximum cohesion,” Napolitano, sounding almost breathless as he expressed confidence the rivals could work together for the good of the country.

Napolitano said: “It was and is the only possible government,” adding there was no room for “delay, in our country’s and Europe’s interests.”

Napolitano, 87, reluctantly agreed to be re-elected by Parliament earlier this month for another seven-year term because of the political instability.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube