Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Center-left says no bargain in store for Berlusconi

English
© ANSA

Rome, August 12 - The center-left will offer no
favors to protect three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi from
serving his fraud sentence, both the Democratic Party (PD) Lower
House whip and a government minister said Monday.
Regional Affairs Minister Graziano del Rio told the La
Repubblica daily that the unprecedented left-right coalition
government "was born to help Italy out of the economic crisis,"
and that "we did not create the legal troubles of Berlusconi -
we weren't the cause and we won't be the solution".
PD Lower House whip Roberto Speranza said simply there
would be "no deals" between the embattled parties that make up
the fragile executive, adding that "the PD will vote for the
fall" of the leader of the center-right People of Freedom party.
Earlier this month the media tycoon was sentenced by the
supreme Cassation Court to four years in jail for tax fraud on
film rights at his Mediaset empire, his first-ever definitive
conviction in years of legal entanglements that range from
charges of abuse of office to paying an underage prostitute for
sex.
The jail term has been commuted to one year because of an
amnesty, and the court suspended a five-year ban on Berlusconi
holding public office, sending this part of the punishment back
to the Milan appeals court for review.
Due to his age, the jail term is likely to take the form of
community service or house arrest.
There were fears the ruling would have consequences for
Premier Enrico Letta's government, which needs the support of
Berlusconi's party to survive.
Both forged an uneasy alliance in the wake of inconclusive
February elections that produced two months of parliamentary
gridlock.
Berlusconi has said several times recently that his legal
problems and the government are separate issues.
Daniela Santanche', a PdL MP and longtime Berlusconi
loyalist, said in her eyes the government was already at its
end.
"It's finished because it fails to take action. Its role as
a government is already over," she told the daily Il Tempo.
"The only solution is to go back to the polls".

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