Moderates quite Forza Italia

Moderate MPs are quitting Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party


MPs Annalisa Baroni and Giusy Versace became the latest moderates to quit Forza Italia (FI). Several politicians have left Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right group in protest at its part in the fall of Draghi’s unity coalition.

After FI helped put an end to outgoing Premier Mario Draghi’s government of national unity last week, several of its more moderate MPS have jumped ship. Baroni and Versace follow in the footsteps of Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta and Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini.

 The Minister for the South Mara Carfagna is also reportedly considering quitting the party.

READ: Draghi quits and Parliament is dissolved

“The position adopted by the party in the middle of the crisis of government was disconcerting,” Baroni said. “I would never have expected FI to rob the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and (M5S leader Giuseppe) Conte of the responsibility for bringing down the executive, condemning the country to instability.

“I no longer identify with this FI, which has been following Salvini and his populism for some time. Mariastella Gelmini is right when she says there is no longer space for moderates in Forza Italia”.

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Former paralympic athlete Versace, cousin to fashion designers Gianni and Donatella Versace, echoed those comments.

“It was our duty to ensure stability for the country and continuity to this government, which was doing its job well, by taking it to the end of the parliamentary term in a few months’ time with altruism and coherence,” she said.

“I would never have imaged ending this parliamentary term with so much sadness and disappointment”.

FI Coordinator Antonio Tajani, meanwhile, denied reports that Berlusconi had agreed a pact with Salvini. Rumours have it bargained to become Senate Speaker, Italy’s second-highest institutional role after the president, in the new parliament in exchange for bringing down the Draghi government.

Tajani suggested that the role was not important enough for Berlusconi to want to bargain for it.

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