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.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...