S&D Group criticises Silvio Berlusconi and his party for attacking Monti’s government in such turbulent times

The S&D Group has strongly criticised the behaviour of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Popolo della Libertà party in recent days. The party’s MPs unexpectedly withdrew support for Mario Monti’s technocratic government by blocking the 2013 budget in parliament last week. Prime Minister Monti has since announced he will resign once the budget is passed, which is still expected to take place before the start of the Christmas holidays.

President Napolitano would then have to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections, likely to take place in February. The centre-left Partito Democratico last week nominated Pier Luigi Bersani – widely regarded as the frontrunner for the elections originally scheduled for March.

Commenting on the latest developments in Italy, S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda said:

„Silvio Berlusconi and the right-wing are showing their irresponsibility again by no longer supporting Mario Monti’s government. But the Democrats, with Pier Luigi Bersani as their candidate, are well prepared to take on the responsibility.

„Italy needs a government of political and social stability. Berlusconi makes the choice between right and centre-left very easy.

„This is also a choice between a rational and co-operative European strategy and a nationalistic and populist strategy founded on a single personality, which cannot solve the urgent problems Italy faces.“