Italian president warns against snap elections

Italian president warns against snap elections

Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:40AM GMT

Italy’s outgoing president, Giorgio Napolitano, has warned politicians against pushing the country towards a snap election next year.

A snap election could destabilize the nation and damage its international standing, the 89-year-old Italian president said during a meeting in Rome.

“We cannot once again be – it’s an old bad habit – a country mired in what I call hypothetical talk (on) if, when and how there may be early elections,” Napolitano added.

His remarks follow rising speculation that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi might seek a mandate from voters to push for economic and labor reforms, which have met resistance from members of his center-left Democratic Party.

In February 2013, Italy held its last general election, which resulted in a hung parliament.

The country has also seen four different prime ministers pass through its doors over the last four years. Renzi has maintained the post since February.

Over the past decade, Italy has had the slowest growing economy in the eurozone as tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with an ailing economy.

Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in recent years.

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