Italian MP addresses parliament in French in protest
An Italian lawmaker addressed parliament in French on Saturday in protest against what he called "the Franco-German directorate" poised to take over Italy after Silvio Berlusconi's resignation.
"Madame la presidente..." Massimo Polledri, a deputy from the Northern League party, began before deputy speaker of the lower house Rosy Bindi upbraided him saying: "You have to speak Italian in this parliament."
Lawmakers on Saturday were discussing a package of economic measures including state asset sell-offs and labour market reforms that Berlusconi promised to the European Union and has set as the condition for stepping down.
Polledri's comments followed condemnation in several newspapers at the overwhelming pressure from France and Germany for Italy to form a new government after Berlusconi's resignation instead of holding early elections.
According to a blog of French daily Le Monde, Sarkozy told Italian President Giorgio Napolitano that he could come to Rome himself and negotiate with politicians for a government led by former EU commssioner Mario Monti.
"We salute the Franco-German directorate before it officially takes control of the country," Polledri said, adding: "Maybe they'll let us speak Italian for a bit longer but the decisions are going to be taken elsewhere."
© 2011 AFP