Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

Berlusconi and supporters attack Monti over call for renewal


Rome, December 27 - Silvo Berlusconi and his allies
on Thursday attacked caretaker Premier Mario Monti for his move
to lead a centrist alliance in the upcoming general election.
Berlusconi, who was forced to resign as prime minister 13
months ago amid an enormous political and financial crisis and
recently announced he would bid for a fourth term, slammed Monti
on national television and promised to abolish a hated tax.
Berlusconi told state television Rai 1's morning chat show
that Monti and his caretaker government had been "crushed" by
political pressure from the rest of the eurozone and set Italy's
policies accordingly.
He said he had a better reputation and higher status among
other political leaders than Monti has, and also repeated a
promise to abolish a new and hated property tax.
Berlusconi, and his followers in the centre-right People of
Freedom (PdL) party, went on the attack after Monti said in a
Twitter message Christmas night that it was useless for Italians
to "complain," but instead they should "take action".
"Together, we have saved Italy from disaster," Monti wrote.
He added that Italy needed a "continued renewal" of
Monti resigned after the key vote on the 2013 budget law in
parliament last Friday and on Sunday posted on the Internet a
reform agenda, after saying he might lead forces who endorse him
for Italy's upcoming general election due in late February.
That infuriated his centre-right political opponents in
Berlusconi's PdL.
"Monti did not save Italy, he merely reaped the merits of
four years of work by Berlusconi", claimed Gianfranco Rotondi, a
PdL member.
Anna Maria Bernini, also of the PDL, said it was shocking
that Monti "can present himself as a saviour after bringing the
country to recession, taking all the merit (for successes) and
attributing all the disasters to others".
Monti has been praised by international financial markets
but has disappointed many Italians with deep budget cuts, tax
increases, and reforms designed to help improve Italy's finances
which had raised a Greece-style default risk when Berlusconi
stepped down in Monti's favour in November 2011.

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