PD bickering blights party campaign

ROME – Democratic Party (PD) secretary, Matteo Renzi, defended the party’s final list of candidates for the Italian elections on Monday, as internal bickering continued to hamper the party’s campaign.

 Renzi argued the PD had “fielded the strongest team. We have winning and compelling ideas. We have restored to the country the possibility of trying, coming out of a devastating crisis.”

 The PD has presented a number of ministers as candidates, including prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, Beatrice Lorenzin and Marco Minniti. However, there are some new faces such as Lucia Annibali, the victim of an acid attack, and Paolo Siani, a doctor whose brother was killed by the Camorra.

 But the list has been assailed on several fronts. The party’s former prime minister, Enrico Letta, said he was “astonished.” In an interview with La Stampa, Letta lambasted the list as “another unexpected and undeserved gift to Berlusconi and Five Star. An incredible race towards the abyss.”

 Likewise, Nicola Lattore, a PD senator surprisingly excluded from the list, claimed to have received “neither advice nor an explanation” for his omission. “I am annoyed, I would be a hypocrite to deny it,” Lattore stated, “the criteria of loyalty were almost exclusively followed, rather than that of competency or of the feeling of the candidates on the principal problems of the country.”

 Meanwhile, the party has been attempting to get its campaign off the ground with little over a month to go until Italians take to the polls.

 Renzi relaunched several social proposals, including more help for young couples and in the past week has attacked Berlusconi’s proposed “flat tax” as “taking from the poor and giving to the rich. In short, the opposite of Robin Hood.”

 Economic development minister, Carlo Calenda, similarly took fire at those looking to target multinational corporations: “the idea of taxing the multinationals, which would simply tell them to escape the country, isn’t industrial policy, all this is electoral politics.”