SILVIO Berlusconi has declared that he is running for office because Italy needs him.
The media tycoon went on the offensive in an interview on the high-profile state television news show, 'Porta a Porta', criticising Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Mario Monti, the current Italian prime minister.
When asked if he intended to seek office for the fourth time in 20 years, Mr Berlusconi proclaimed: "You need me. And I don't hold back when I feel the obligation to help to those in need."
He pledged to abolish Italy's unpopular new property tax and sounded warnings that a country led by technocrats – or the "ignorant Left" – would lead to a disaster like Greece, with its "social civil war". (© Daily Telegraph, London)