Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

Berlusconi's legal problems 'won't touch' government


(see related stories on Berlusconi)
Rome, May 9 - Senior members of the two main
parties supporting Premier Enrico Letta's left-right government
said Thursday that Silvio Berlusconi's new legal problems would
not cause the executive to collapse.
Earlier on Thursday Naples prosecutors requested Berlusconi
be sent to trial over allegations the ex-premier bribed former
Senator Sergio De Gregorio to change political sides.
On Wednesday, a Milan court upheld a four-year conviction
against Berlusconi for tax fraud on TV rights bought by his
Mediaset TV empire. He is also on trial in Milan over
accusations he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan dancer.
Three-time premier Berlusconi says this week's developments
are part of a campaign by left-wing magistrates who are
persecuting him for political reasons.
There has been speculation these problems could disrupt
the delicate balance between Berlusconi's centre-right People of
Freedom (PdL) party and the centre-left Democratic Party, which
formed an unprecedented alliance last month to end a long
deadlock after February's general election failed to produce a
clear winner.
Some thought Berlusconi might sink the government in anger
at the decisions.
Meanwhile, some political pundits have said parts of the PD
may rebel against the PdL's attacks on the judiciary.
The PdL has said Berlusconi will attend a big protest in
Brescia on Saturday against the treatment he is being dealt by
But both sides are saying Letta's government will not be
dragged into the wrangle.
"Yesterday's ruling in Milan and the request by Naples
prosecutors for Silvio Berlusconi to be indicted are clearly
attacks not just from judicial forces, but political ones too,"
said Fabrizio Cicchitto, a senior PdL lawmaker.
"The double aim is to hit Berlusconi and to put the balance
of the current government in crisis.
"We aren't going to fall for provocations as regards the
government. The life and future of the government will depend on
its contents concerning economic policies and reforms of the
Junior Economy Minister Stefano Fassina of the PD said the
centre left did not want Berlusconi's problems having an impact
on the government either.
"We all intend to keep Silvio Berlusconi's judicial affairs
separate from the activities of the government and of
parliament, with which they must not interfere," Fassina said.

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