Italy: Berlusconi Confirms New PM Bid

08 Dec 2012

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi


Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he will run for the office again next year.

Berlusconi told reporters in Milan that he was "running to win" - and that his decision came after his People of Freedom party had not found a leader who was as well known as him, reports the BBC.

Berlusconi said PM Mario Monti's austerity policies had harmed Italy.

Berlusconi, 76, resigned in November 2011 over Italy's economic troubles and was convicted of tax fraud in October.

He is appealing against that ruling.

Berlusconi is also on trial accused of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute, in the so-called "Ruby" case. He denies wrongdoing.

He has already served as Italy's prime minister for three separate terms and built up what is believed to be a vast personal fortune from his business empire.

Berlusconi told reporters in Milan that everyone in his party had agreed that the PDL needed a leader "like Berlusconi in 1994" but "there wasn't one".

"It's not that we did not look... but one needs time to be imposed as leader," the former prime minister said, mentioning the PDL secretary general Angelino Alfano.

He said he was entering the race because polls put the centre-right PDL behind the Italian left.

The PDL abstained from confidence votes in parliament on Thursday - which the government won.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, PM Bid

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