Italian President Hopes To Solve Political Crisis Without New Vote [Photo]
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta will meet with Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano on Sunday to try to pursue a path out of the country’s deep political crisis after Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of the government and called for new elections. Berlusconi said he decided on the shock move on Saturday after the government’s failure to avert a long-programmed hike in sales tax at a cabinet meeting the day before. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s politically center-right former prime minister, who was forced from office in November 2011 at the height of the euro zone debt crisis, currently faces a ban from parliament for tax fraud and has already launched his election campaign.
Infighting among the left-right coalition government has thwarted efforts to push through reforms Italy needs to emerge from a two-year recession, a 2-trillion-euro public debt and youth unemployment of around 40 percent. The ensuring political paralysis from Italy’s government collapse only further halts reform for Italy’s suffering economy.