Italian President Sharply Criticizes Peers in Re-Election Speech

Yahoo Contributor Network

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano took his government to task on Monday, just moments after being sworn in for a second term. Napolitano chastised the very politicians who had re-elected him just two days before, criticizing them for their failure to elect a new government and accusing them of "unforgivable" failure in their attempts to lessen the country's woes, as quoted by BBC News.

With his re-election this past weekend, Napolitano becomes the first Italian president ever elected to a second term in office. On Monday, he told the listening politicians that he had only accepted the job because he felt that it was necessary to help Italy move forward with reforms.

Here are some of the key things that Napolitano chose to emphasize after being sworn in on Monday, and the situation that he faces in his second term.

* Napolitano's re-election follows two months of political gridlock after elections in February failed to establish a clear winner, leaving the country without a government.

* While the office of the president in Italy is largely ceremonial, there are some powers allocated to it by the nation's constitution, including the ability to form a new government.

* Forming a new government is expected to be Napolitano's top priority. The Telegraph reported on Monday that he is expected to try to establish a coalition government between the nation's largest political parties. Former Premier Giuliano Amato is rumored to be a top contender to lead the new government once it is formed.

* Napolitano reportedly has already ordered copies made of a list of both economic and institutional reforms that he expects the new government to implement as soon as it is established.

* During his speech on Monday, Napolitano told his peers that if his demands for reforms were once again ignored, that he "will not hesitate to draw the consequences," as quoted by Reuters.

* The stock market appeared to enjoy a boost on Monday from Napolitano's re-election, with the stock index in Milan jumping 1.66 percent for the day, as noted by the Associated Press.

* Many of the very politicians he was criticizing applauded Napolitano's speech, interrupting him on at least three different occasions to show their appreciation for his straightforward assessment of the Italian government.

* Financiers were quick to show their approval of his re-election as well. Unicredit analyst Luca Cazzulani said in a statement on Monday that word of Napolitano's second term "is good news," as quoted by the Associated Press.

* Not all of Italy's politicians were inclined to praise Napolitano, however. Members of comedian Beppe Grillo's 5-Star Movement told the media on Monday that the president's re-election to a second term in office amounted to a "coup," and refused to applaud him after his speech, according to the Associated Press.

Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.

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