Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Monti, Berlusconi spar over government record

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 19 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti
and his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi resumed their sparring on
Tuesday after the ex-premier accused his rival in upcoming
elections of a 'dirty trick' for saying Italy had been on the
verge of collapse when he was forced out of government in late
2011.
''How can recent history be rewritten in that way?'' asked
Monti.
''It is a history that belongs to everyone and that is
still before everyone's eyes''.
The economist and former EU commissioner for competition
also said ''proposals made by those who think Italians don't
remember anything'' were not worthy of comment, in reference to
a campaign pledge by Berlusconi to scrap the new IMU property
tax on primary residences and give the money back.
''The introduction of IMU was a necessary measure,
including on primary residences as already foreseen by the
Berlusconi government,'' he said.
''Monti is a disaster,'' replied Berlusconi. ''His very
name sends shivers up my spine''.
He also reiterated his refusal to appear in a televised
debate ahead of elections this weekend that might also include
Monti in addition to his main election rival, the centre-left
leader Pierluigi Bersani.
''I do not fear Monti,'' said Berlusconi. ''It is just that
in a democracy it is illogical for the two leaders who can both
aspire to victory to meet with someone who may not even make it
into parliament,'' he continued.
Monti is running against Berlusconi and Bersani on a
centrist and reformist platform.
In the last opinion polls published before the pre-election
blackout 10 days ago his Civic Choice movement was trailing
fourth after the centre-left and centre-right coalitions and the
anti-establishment Five Star Movement of Genoa comedian Beppe
Grillo.

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