Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi won't debate premier, 'not in the running'

English
© ANSA

(see previous) Rome, February 18 - A political
face-off should happen "between candidates who are in the
running and (Premier Mario) Monti is not," ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi said on Monday.
Italians, who are set to go to the polls next Sunday and
Monday, have yet to see the main political leaders debate
against each other because of disputes about who should take
part.
Outgoing premier Monti said Monday that Berlusconi, his
predecessor, was scared of facing him in a televised election
debate, a suggestion Berlusconi dismissed.
Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose coalition was
ahead in the polls before a pre-election blackout of surveys
kicked in earlier this month, wants the leaders of the six main
groups to take part.
Monti, who is standing on a reform platform backed by
centrist parties, thinks he, Berlusconi and Bersani should take
part.
Berlusconi, whose centre-right coalition had been gaining
ground on the centre left before the poll blackout, reiterated
his position on Monday that it should be a straight showdown
between him and Bersani, without Monti.
"I'm in favour of a TV debate, but between the only two
people who have a chance of winning," Berlusconi said on Italian
radio.
Monti, who took the helm of an emergency administration of
unelected technocrats when Italy's financial crisis forced
Berlusconi to resign as premier in November 2011, responded by
accusing the 76-year-old media magnate of cowardice.

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