Thursday 18 January 2018

Only solution is to give me share of power, says Berlusconi

James Mackenzie Rome

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has insisted the only way out of Italy's political deadlock is for his centre-left rivals to accept a coalition deal that would give him a share in power.

Mr Berlusconi met President Giorgio Napolitano yesterday after centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani failed to end a month-long stalemate since an election last month that has fuelled worries about the stability of the eurozone's third largest economy.

He said there was "no other solution" than a coalition and he ruled out backing a technocrat government like the one led by outgoing prime minister Mario Monti, whom he blames for pushing Italy into recession.

"Our position has not changed. We expressed it with absolute clarity to the president," Mr Berlusconi told reporters after the meeting with Mr Napolitano.

"Our position is the one the polls dictate: a broad coalition between the available forces. . . an absolutely political government, given the negative and tragic experience we had of a technocrat government."

But a senior official from Mr Bersani's party rebuffed the offer, saying it was "very difficult" to imagine a coalition with Mr Berlusconi's party.

Irish Independent

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