- Title: Italy president pledges to solve government crisis fast
- Date: 10th December 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 10, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** JOURNALISTS / ITALIAN CORAZZIERI HONOUR GUARDS IN FRONT OF DOOR ITALIAN FLAG GUARD DOOR OPENING AND ITALIAN PRESIDENT, SERGIO MATTARELLA, WALKING TO PODIUM CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRESIDENT, SERGIO MATTARELLA, SAYING: "As you have seen, I have heard, as anticipated, from all the representatives of the parliament. With great attention and respect, I have taken note of their opinions and the proposals they have put forward. In the next hours, I will evaluate the details of these meetings and I will take the initiatives needed to solve the government crisis." CAMERAMAN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRESIDENT, SERGIO MATTARELLA, SAYING: "Our country needs a fully competent government, quickly. We have duties to fulfil, commitments and expiry dates which need to be dealt with and respected. These are duties, commitments and expiry dates with domestic, European and international characteristics." PHOTOGRAPHER MATTARELLA LEAVING
- Embargoed: 25th December 2016 20:22
- Keywords: Italy government crisis President Sergio Mattarella prime minister Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CAWEO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italian President Sergio Mattarella pledged on Saturday (December 10) to act quickly to solve a government crisis prompted by Matteo Renzi's resignation as prime minister, with all major parties calling for elections as soon as possible.
Before any vote can take place, however, Italy needs a new electoral law. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni appears to be in pole position to be nominated by Mattarella sometime in the next 48 hours to head the next government and oversee that reform.
Gentiloni could potentially take office next week and would face an immediate crisis in the banking sector, with the country's third-largest lender, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, likely to need state intervention to avoid collapse.
"As you have seen, I have heard, as anticipated, from all the representatives of the parliament. With great attention and respect, I have taken note of their opinions and the proposals they have put forward. In the next hours, I will evaluate the details of these meetings and I will take the initiatives needed to solve the government crisis," Mattarella, a 75-year-old former constitutional court judge, said after meeting officials from around 40 political parties.
Mattarella must decide if someone can lead the country to national elections scheduled for 2018, or whether the next government will serve only until elections in spring.
Renzi, 41, resigned after a bruising defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform on December 4. Any candidate will need backing from his party, as it holds a majority in both houses.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which polls a close second to Renzi's Democratic Party (PD), demanded a national vote as soon as possible.
Silvio Berlusconi, a four-times prime minister who leads the centre-right Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, also called for elections, and said he would not support a grand coalition.
All parties called for a new electoral law to be put in place to replace one that only applies to the lower house and that could be declared illegitimate in January by the Constitutional Court.
Gentiloni is seen as a Renzi loyalist who would be unlikely to set his own, independent course. Three PD lawmakers said Renzi wanted Gentiloni to oversee the writing of a new electoral law while the centre-left would hold primaries to decide who should lead the bloc into the next elections.
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