5.22.2009

Silvio Berlusconi vows to grab more power in Italy at Parliament’s expense

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6337807.ece
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00561/italy_185x360_561037a.jpghttp://notasaocafe.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/hachfeld_16072008_1.gif
Silvio Berlusconi vowed yesterday to change the Italian constitution to give himself greater power as Prime Minister at the expense of Parliament, which he denounced as “useless”[His parliament must really love him...].
“You have a Government that is for the first time run by an entrepreneur and a team of ministers that resembles a company board in its efficiency, but we have to reckon with a legislature that must be modernised because the premier has virtually no power,”[No power?? I guess if he doesn't have all of the power it will never be enough for him...] Mr Berlusconi told the annual conference of Confindustria, an employers’ federation.
He said that a Bill changing the constitution would have to take the form of a “popular initiative” taken outside parliament, as deputies and senators would not undermine their own power. Under Italian law, Bills can be proposed not only by deputies, but also by groups of 500,000 citizens. “You can’t expect turkeys to vote to bring forward Christmas,” he said — adding that the Lower House should be reduced to 100 deputies.
Mr Berlusconi sought to increase his powers when last in office in 2005. The move was passed by parliament but without the required two-thirds majority, and overturned by a referendum the following year [Yeah, I remember, that was a close one!].
Had it become reality, that reform would have given the Prime Minister the power to appoint and sack ministers as well as dissolve parliament and call elections. At present only parliament can dismiss a minister in a no-confidence vote.
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