Backroom fixer given task of reforming Italy
Friday 02 February 1996
Antonio Maccanico, 71, a constitutional expert with little profile at home or abroad, was yesterday asked to form a new Italian government. The appointment came as the parties agreed to work towards institutional reform rather than rush into a general election.
Mr Maccanico, who has a history as a backroom negotiator, emerged as a compromise candidate after several other names, including his predecessor, Lamberto Dini, were rejected by the two big parliamentary blocs.
He will conduct negotiations to put together a government mixing cross- party political appointments with technocrats. If he succeeds, Italy may have a government by mid-February.
"I am sure that parliament has the moral and intellectual energy ... to open a new phase of growth, and civic and democratic progress in our country," Mr Maccanico said, after accepting the mandate of prime minister designate from President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.
He outlined four main priorities: continuing fiscal and monetary rectitude to bring the lira back into the European exchange rate mechanism; giving Italy an "incisive role" in its current six-month presidency of the European Union; clear rules on conflicts of interest, particularly in broadcasting, where the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi still wields enormous influence; reform of the constitution to reinforce the powers of the executive over parliament, increase the role of the regions and consider the direct election of a presidential figure.
The last point has been the focus of the last month of crisis, with the extreme-right leader, Gianfranco Fini, calling for a directly-elected prime minister, or president, with sweeping powers.
Mr Fini yesterday expressed his satisfaction at Mr Maccanico's appointment. The centre-left had more mixed feelings, with some deputies saying they would never co-operate with the centre-right under Mr Maccanico's leadership.
Mr Maccanico is likely to keep on some members of Mr Dini's team. He himself is unlikely to make much of a splash. A southern-born lawyer, he was minister for institutional reform in the late 1980s. Under his aegis no institutional reforms were introduced.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: 'All passengers' under investigation, police say
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ban...