Silvio Berlusconi wants to form a new alliance

Berlusconi seeks to form new alliance

Sun, 17 Nov 2013 00:30:57 GMT

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has called on his former partners in the center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party to form an alliance with him.

Addressing the supporters of his re-launched Forza Italia party in the capital Rome on Saturday, the former premier urged settlement of differences with his former ally Angelino Alfano, the secretary of the PDL party and the country’s incumbent deputy prime minister.

Berlusconi is apparently trying to enter into a political alliance with Alfano in order to fight his leftist enemies.

On Friday evening, Alfano, who also serves as the interior minister in Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government, announced that he was separating from Berlusconi to form a new group called the New Center-Right party.

In his first reaction to Alfano’s decision, Berlusconi said the party split “caused him a lot of pain,” adding, it was against his vision of “uniting all the moderates, who, if they were all together, would be the majority of the electorate.”

Berlusconi also asked his advocates to support Alfano’s new party, saying, “This group, even if for now it looks like it is supporting the left, must necessarily be part of the coalition of moderates.”

An anti-corruption law passed in 2012 makes Berlusconi ineligible to sit in parliament, but his ejection should be confirmed by the Italian Senate, which is set to vote on his tax fraud conviction on November 27.

The scandal-tainted former premier, whose supporters are in a minority in the Senate, has threatened over and over to pull the PDL out of the government if he is expelled from parliament.

Berlusconi, who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2011, resigned after coming under immense pressure to step down for mishandling the Italian economy.

The tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes introduced by the government are extremely unpopular in Italy.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone single currency area.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.

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