Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018
ROME

>>>ANSA/ PdL ups threat to pull plug if Berlusconi banned

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 11 - Silvio Berlusconi's center-right
People of Freedom (PdL) party ramped up threats Thursday it
would pull its support from the fragile coalition government if
the ex-premier were banned from office.
"If Berlusconi is banned for life, it would be very
difficult for the PdL without its leader to pursue the
experience of the (Enrico) Letta government," said PdL Senate
Whip Renato Schifani.
The PdL has been outraged by what they consider "political
persecution" by allegedly leftist judges who have delivered a
series of legal blows to the political and industrial titan in
recent weeks.
On Wednesday the party secured a one-day halt to
parliamentary business to discuss its reaction to a supreme
Cassation Court decision to start hearings in just three weeks
in a case where the media mogul is appealing a jail term and a
ban from public office.
The three-time premier is appealing a four-year term for
inflating film-rights purchases at his Mediaset media empire,
cut to one for an amnesty, as well as a five-year ban from
public office.
As he is over 70 he would not serve the year in prison if
definitively convicted but have to do social work.
However the ban would kick in if, as usually happens,
parliament ratifies it.
There has been some speculation that the PD may not all
vote to ban Berlusconi.
As well as calling for the halt to parliamentary business,
the PdL said it would no longer attend a government summit set
to address thorny issues like the repeal of property tax IMU and
the avoidance of a 1% hike in VAT.
Many have worried that the fragile stability of the
unprecedented left-right coalition was at risk over Berlusconi's
legal entanglements.
Members of his party have threatened to resign from
government en masse if their leader's ban from office is upheld.
But the European affairs minister said Thursday that the
stability of the government "is not at risk".
"All the explicit political signs we're receiving are in
the spirit of guaranteeing solidity to the government," said
Enzo Moavero Milanesi, a political independent.
While not blaming the PD for the Cassation Court's action,
the PdL has said this alleged latest instance of judicial
persecution against their leader could bring down the fragile
coalition with their traditional foes.
Diehard Silvio Berlusconi loyalist and MP Daniela Santanché
said Wednesday that if the PdL's request to suspend government
meetings had not been respected there would have been
consequences.
"Bringing down a government is not a political action, it
is a consequence of political action," Santanché said.
On Thursday she reiterated her party's feelings against
Italy's judiciary, calling for a law that would punish
politically biased magistrates with jail.

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