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Mattarella demands “responsibility” from the Italian parties in his re-election as president

Sergio Mattarella, during his speech at the investiture ceremony as president of Italy. / AFP

The head of state, who was helped by the political forces although he planned to retire, explains after swearing in the position that he accepted to avoid “more uncertainties”

MINOR DARIO Correspondent in Rome

Rome experienced this Thursday the atmosphere of great occasions, with traffic blocked in the central area while security forces helicopters flew over the city, on the occasion of the swearing-in of Sergio Mattarella as president of the Italian Republic, a position in which he repeats after of being widely voted for by the political parties last Saturday after failing to find a successor for him during a week of voting in Parliament. It was a difficult time for everyone, “also for me,” acknowledged Mattarella, 80, who planned to retire after completing his seven-year term.

In his investiture speech, the re-elected head of state stated that he could not fail to respond to this new call to exercise his responsibilities since, in the current situation of health and social emergency, Italy could not afford “more uncertainties”. He also called on political forces for “dignity and responsibility” to rebuild the country after the shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Dignity’ was precisely one of the key words in his speech: he repeated it 18 times in his applauded speech before the plenary session of Parliament. Among the political leaders present was not Matteo Salvini, secretary general of the League, who has tested positive for covid.

Mattarella took advantage of his speech to thank the work of the Government led by Mario Draghi. Now that the difficult period of the election of the President of the Republic has been overcome, the Executive intends to speed up its reformist agenda, which has so far been bearing such good fruit. GDP grew by 6.5% in 2021, one of the highest figures in the entire eurozone and not seen in Italy since the 1970s.

Before the end of the legislature in 2023, the broad and heterogeneous coalition that supports the Government must also reach an agreement to approve a new electoral law. A new system is necessary to hold the next general elections after the constitutional reform approved in a referendum in September 2020, which reduced the number of parliamentarians from 945 to 600 for the new legislature.


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