lunedì 26 maggio 2014

Renzi's PD projected to land big win in European elections

M5S second, Berlusconi's FI third

(ANSA) - Rome, May 26 - Premier Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is set to be Italy's top party in Sunday's European elections by a big margin, according to early projections. A projection by SWG marketing for Sky gave the PD 36.8-38.8% of the vote, compared to 23.3-25.3% for comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment, Euroskeptic 5-Star Movement (M5S) and 15.6-17.6% for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's opposition centre-right Forza Italia (FI).

Another projection by IPR marketing for State broadcaster Rai gave the PD a whopping 40.2% of the vote, compared to 23.1% for the M5S and 16% for FI. The PD said that, if the outcome is confirmed, it is an endorsement of the ambitious programme of institutional and economic reforms Renzi has embarked on since unseating his party colleague Enrico Letta in February to become Italy's youngest premier at 39.

These include a drive to change the Constitution and transform the Senate into a leaner assembly of local-government representatives with limited lawmaking powers as part of an overhaul of the country's slow, costly political machinery. Although the M5S may increase on the stunning 25% of the vote it achieved in last year's inconclusive general election, the movement was not on course to live up to Grillo's prediction it would come first this time.

Grillo had forecast that a victory by the M5S, whose stated aim is to destroy the current party system, would cause Renzi to suffer a political "lupara bianca" - a term used to refer to a mafia hit that leaves no trace of evidence. Grillo had also threatened to lead hordes of M5S supporters in Rome next week to demand new national elections and the resignation of President Giorgio Napolitano, who he says is not a fair arbiter of Italian politics, if his movement came first.

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