Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
05:14 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
17 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Berlusconi agrees to help rival leader in Italy
Associated Press
In this Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 file photo, Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he speaks on a mobile phone prior to a parliament debate, at the Senate in Rome, Italy. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 file photo, Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he speaks on a mobile phone prior to a parliament debate, at the Senate in Rome, Italy. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File)
A+ A-

ROME: Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, booted out of Parliament last year after his tax fraud conviction, met Saturday with his chief political foe, the leader of the main government coalition party, and agreed to back reforms to finally make Italy more governable.

Someone pelted Berlusconi's chauffeured sedan with an egg and some catcalls went up as he was driven into the Rome headquarters of the Democratic Party, the political heirs of Italian communists the media mogul has spent decades loathing.

Matteo Renzi, the brash new head of Premier Enrico Letta's Democratic Party, defied critics in his own ranks to court the media mogul in what turned out to be a successful gambit for a pledge of support.

Berlusconi promised that his center-right Forza Italia party would back legislation to change the electoral system, a reform which has been bogged down for years by squabbling across Italy's fractious political spectrum and perpetuating a legacy of largely unstable governments.

Berlusconi promised to work for reforms that "will favor governability, a two-party system and eliminate the blackmail power of the tinier parties" in Parliament, Renzi told reporters after the more than two-hour meeting before rushing to catch a train back to Florence, where he is mayor.

Berlusconi said he guaranteed to Renzi that his forces would line up behind reform efforts to achieve "the consolidation of the big parties."

After the Democratic Party, Forza Italia is Italy's No. 2 party. Although Berlusconi lost his Senate seat in November because of the conviction, the 77-year-old media mogul still leads Forza Italia, his creation. He has insisted he can make a political comeback despite his judicial travails. Those woes including a separate conviction and seven-year jail sentence for paying a female teenage minor for sex and then using his office as premier to cover it up. Berlusconi's defense team hopes an appeals court will back his claim of innocence in the sex case.

Renzi, jockeying to position himself as the front-runner for the premier's office whenever elections might be called if the government should fall, risked rocking the fragile 9-month-old coalition by reaching out to Berlusconi.

Some prominent Democrats groused that their party headquarters host a convicted politician.

And ex-Berlusconi loyalists, who broke with the media mogul after his conviction to become the lynchpin coalition party, were miffed that Renzi would try to seal a deal with the former premier before the government's own ministers, including from their own ranks, could hammer out a reform package

"You make deals with many hands and lots of heads ... not two," said Renato Schifani, a leader of the New Center-Right party, which bolted from Berlusconi's fold last year.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Italy
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, booted out of Parliament last year after his tax fraud conviction, met Saturday with his chief political foe, the leader of the main government coalition party, and agreed to back reforms to finally make Italy more governable.

Berlusconi said he guaranteed to Renzi that his forces would line up behind reform efforts to achieve "the consolidation of the big parties".

After the Democratic Party, Forza Italia is Italy's No. 2 party. Although Berlusconi lost his Senate seat in November because of the conviction, the 77-year-old media mogul still leads Forza Italia, his creation.
Related Articles
 
 
Berlusconi sent to home for the elderly
 
 
Berlusconi's latest political strategy: pet adoptions
 
 
Arrested Berlusconi aide was sent to help Gemayel campaign: report
 
 
Berlusconi senior aide arrested in Beirut
 
 
Former Italian PM Berlusconi acquitted in Unipol takeover case
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS