Home > News > World
Saturday June 14, 2014 MYT 4:25:01 AM
Saturday June 14, 2014 MYT 4:26:46 AM
ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday accused 13 senators from his own party of seeking "15 minutes of fame" after they withdrew their backing for an overhaul of the political system, and pledged to push ahead with reforms.
While Renzi was on a state trip in Asia on Wednesday, the Democratic Party (PD) senators rebelled against his plan to replace the Senate as an elected chamber with one made up of mayors, regional councillors and presidential appointees.
Since taking office in February, Renzi has said the Senate slows the legislative process and is a financial drain. His proposal would curb its powers so it would not be needed to pass most major legislation and it could not bring down the government in a confidence vote.
The 13 senators, who assure the government majority in the upper house of parliament, said they were "suspending themselves" from the party and accused Renzi of authoritarian tactics at odds with the constitution.
"This isn't a dictatorship," Renzi told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "But we want to be decisive and get things done."
Renzi said the PD could not become "anarchic" and that the senators were seeking their "15 minutes of fame".
After winning more than 40 percent of the vote in last month's European vote largely on his personal popularity, Renzi said: "We're not here to scrape by."
The senators did not say they would leave the PD itself and their action was seen more as a warning shot to Renzi than an immediate threat to his government's survival.
Though Renzi pushed has through a popular cut in income tax for low earners, he has struggled to get other promised reforms through parliament.
To back up his stated intention to push on with the reforms, Renzi said his government agreed to send to parliament a plan to overhaul Italy's famously inefficient public administration, and gave powers to a new anti-corruption commissioner.
In a decree, the prime minister said 15,000 new jobs in the public administration would be created for young people by enforcing a retirement age limit, and he reaffirmed his pledge to begin reforms of the justice, welfare and school systems in the coming months.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Alison Williams)
Syrian Kurdish forces say 'provocative' Turkey targeting them
Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: monitor
Country legend Lynn Anderson dead at 67
Merkel to run for 4th term in 2017 - Der Spiegel
Bin Laden’s mother, sister killed in UK plane crash
Russia's Lavrov to meet U.S., Saudi counterparts in Qatar
Fishing for your dinner There is nothing like landing your own catch to beat the growing cost of living
A tale of a doctor and a misspelled street name
'Minecraft' acts as Windows 10 lure for 20 million gamers
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)