Italian grassroots party wants Speaker’s post to pension privileges

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Rome, March 20 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s populist Five-Star Movement is eager obtain the Speakership of the lower house of parliament in order to cut lawmakers’ pension privileges, its leader Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday.

“This week, a speaker of one of the houses of parliament will probably be elected and we will play a key role.

“We have asked for the speakership of the lower house because more cuts to parliamentary pensions and further reforms need to be made,” Di Maio told his party MPs

Five-Star is the biggest single party in the new parliament after getting nearly one-third of votes in the inconclusive March 4 national election and has claimed it should get first bid to form a government.

The far-right League party, leader of the centre-right coalition, which won around 37 percent of votes – the biggest share – also claims the right to govern Italy and is also eyeing the parliamentary speakerships.

Italian parliamentary pensions have more benefits than ordinary State pensions and can be accrued after serving less than a five-year legislature. They are seen as a symbol of waste and corruption that Five-Star has always said it opposes.

–IANS/AKI

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