Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

Monti says Berlusconi scared of TV debate with him


Rome, February 18 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti
said Monday that his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi was scared of
facing him in a televised election debate.
Italian people look set to go to the polls next Sunday and
Monday without having seen the main political leaders debate
against each other because of disputes about who should take
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
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
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.
"I imagine the reason is that he is particularly afraid of
debating with me," said Monti.
Nevertheless, Monti renewed a call for his rivals to reach
an agreement.
"We've had TV debates before the elections for years and
they were considered useful," the former European commissioner
"I don't understand why we shouldn't have one again this
"Again I call for one to be held, not in my interest, but
in the interest of the Italian people.
"It's one thing to hear sermons or the fireworks of
promises, it's another to have them challenged".
Monti's ticket was fourth in the polls with around 13% of
the vote before the blackout started.
The anti-establishment Five Star Movement of Comedian Beppe
Grillo, who snubs TV appearances, was third with around 15%.
Grillo, who use the Internet and rallies to spread his
message, was meant to give a rare interview to Sky Italia on
Sunday but he cancelled it at the last minute.

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