Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi risks isolation after threatening Monti govt

English
© ANSA

Rome, October 29 - Silvio Berlusconi risks becoming
increasingly isolated politically after he threatened to bring
down Premier Mario Monti's emergency government at the weekend
following a fraud conviction on Friday.
The ex-premier said the conviction had forced him to stay
in front-line politics, after he suggested last week he was
retiring, in order to push through justice reforms, although he
stressed that he had not changed his mind about not running for
a fourth term in elections next year.
Berlusconi said there was a "dictatorship of magistrates"
after being given a four-year sentence for tax fraud on the
trading of film rights by his Mediaset media empire and being
banned from public office for five years.
He will not have to serve three years of the sentence if
the ruling is upheld because of a 2006 amnesty law.
The 76-year-old media magnate also criticised Monti on
Saturday, days after saying his unelected administration of
non-political technocrats was doing a good job at tackling the
economic crisis despite some mistakes.
His comments were blasted by the the centre-left Democratic
Party and the centrist UDC, both of which support Monti's
administration in parliament, as Berlusconi's People of Freedom
(PdL) party has done since the financial crisis forced the
ex-premier to resign last year.
But tellingly, they were also given a cool reception from
some parts of the PDL.
Fabrizio Cicchitto, House whip for the PdL, expressed
concern that Italy's borrowing costs would rise if there were
moves to bring down the government because the ensuing political
instability would hit investor confidence.
There is even speculation that the PdL could split if
Berlusconi follows through on his threat and tries to bring down
the government.
Several senior PdL figures, including party Secretary
Angelino Alfano, Cicchitto and former foreign minister Franco
Frattini, are said to be willing to break away and support the
Monti government in parliament to stop it falling.

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