Wednesday 12 December 2018

Berlusconi vows to create a million jobs

Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi listens as Forza Italia candidate Giusy Versace speaks during the recording of talk show ‘Porta a Porta’ (Door to Door) in Rome. Photo: Reuters
Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi listens as Forza Italia candidate Giusy Versace speaks during the recording of talk show ‘Porta a Porta’ (Door to Door) in Rome. Photo: Reuters

Nick Squires

Silvio Berlusconi used a television chat show as a platform to launch a "contract with the Italian people", promising to create hundreds of thousands of jobs if his centre-right coalition wins next month's election.

He did the same thing 17 years ago, when he used the same programme, the same studio and even the same desk, to sign a contract with Italians in which he pledged to generate one million jobs - a promise that economists say he failed to deliver on.

"After the victory of the centre-right in the election, my job will be to create jobs so that by the end of the five-year legislature we will have brought Italy's rate of unemployment to below the European average, which is 8.7pc," the 81-year-old billionaire said, signing the accord with a flourish.

Mr Berlusconi, leader of the Forza Italia party, decried Italy's unemployment rate of 11pc, which rises to 32pc among young people. "There are three million young people who don't work. They get up at midday and go to the discotheque," he said.

Mr Berlusconi insisted that the centre-right was the party most likely to guarantee Italy's "stability".

He cannot become prime minister again because of a conviction for tax fraud, but he is determined to be the power behind the throne if, as seems likely, his alliance wins the most votes in the March 4 election.

© Daily Telegraph London

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