Seeking a solution to stalemate in the Senate, Italy’s upper house of parliament, election-winner Pier Luigi Bersani has said his center-left alliance will not ally with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s bloc. Pier Luigi Bersani said in a newspaper interview published on Friday that his center-left bloc was not prepared to ally with the rival group led by Silvio Berlusconi, even with Berlusconi holding the upper hand in the Senate. “I want to spell it out clearly: the idea of a grand coalition does not exist and will never exist,” Bersani told La Repubblica. As the most popular party in the vote for the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, Bersani’s bloc is guaranteed 54 percent of the seats under Italian electoral law. The Senate, however, has roughly equal legislative powers, meaning that this lower house majority might not suffice for Bersani to push policies through as premier. “Call it what you want,” Bersani said when asked whether he would seek a minority government in the Senate instead. “Minority government, government of purpose, that doesn’t interest me. For me it is a government of change.”
President Giorgio Napolitano, currently concluding a visit to Germany, will have the task of forming a new government. Napolitano said that despite the difficult situation, “Italy is not without a government.”
Speaking to reporters as he delivered a more general speech on the European Union in Berlin, Napolitano said he was determined to avoid an election re-run – implying he would be seeking to crown a prime minister and government. “I’m not interested in a new vote,” Napolitano said.
Bersani told la Repubblica that he would present a seven- or eight-point agenda when summoned by Napolitano, and that he would put himself forward as a candidate for prime minister.