Italian center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani rallied his party on Wednesday behind a plan to form a minority government backed by populist Beppe Grillo after failing to secure victory in last week’s election. Bersani, whose coalition threw away a 10-point lead in the opinion polls before the February 24-25 vote, won control of the lower house but let slip a workable parliamentary majority by failing to win the Senate. The result has left no group able to form a government on its own and Italy facing weeks of uncertainty. A new election could be called within months if no accord can be reached between the divided parties. Underlining pressure on politicians to agree on a government to tackle the problems of one of the world’s biggest sovereign debtors, credit rating agency DBRS cut Italy’s debt grade to A (low) from A on Wednesday, citing political uncertainty and a prolonged recession.
Moody’s Investor Service has warned the vote was bad for Italy’s credit rating while Standard & Poor’s has said its rating could be affected in the future. All major agencies rate Italy’s outlook as negative.
In an address to officials of his Democratic Party in Rome, Bersani, a 61-year-old former industry minister, acknowledged that the result was a defeat but said the left was the only political force capable of forming a government.
“We are ready, if called on, to propose a government of change based on a core program,” he said. “Its purpose will be to open the way forward for parliament.”
Full Article: Italy’s Bersani seeks way out of vote impasse | Reuters.