Nomination for Italian PM hits out at austerity

ITALY’s new nomination for Prime Minister has launched an attack on the EU’s focus on austerity.

President Giorgio Napolitano yesterday asked centre-left politician Enrico Letta to form a new government, signalling the end of a damaging two-month stalemate since elections in the Eurozone’s third largest economy in February.

Letta immediately called for Brussels to rethink its stringent budget guidance, saying it is “no longer sufficient”.

Letta, from the Democratic Party, promised to start talks to form a broad-based coalition today. It is likely to go to parliament for a vote of confidence by next week.

The Prime Minister designate is expected to select a group of ministers, likely to be a mixture of politicians and technocrats, under the guidance of Napolitano, whose own unprecedented re-election last weekend opened the way for the crisis to end.

Letta said he would not form a government “at all costs”, warning that the warring parties must make compromises. He said Italy faced an untenable situation and the government must provide answers on jobs, poverty and the recession hammering businesses.