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Berlusconi announces return amid fears his party may cause Italian gov't to collapse

English.news.cn   2012-12-06 21:52:03            

ROME, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Italy's Silvio Berlusconi said he would enter the lists of general elections again amid speculation that his party could withdraw support to the emergency government to provoke early elections in which he would be candidate for the next again.

The 76-year-old media tycoon, who has changed his mind many times in recent weeks after whether to stand for a fourth term, said he "could not let Italy fall into an endless recessive spiral."

"Today the situation is worse than it was a year ago when I left the government out of a sense of responsibility and love for my country," the former prime minister said in a statement on Thursday.

On Thursday, his center-right People of Freedom party (PdL), the biggest group in parliament, deserted a confidence vote in the Senate, or the upper chamber, on an economic-development bill.

Prime Minister Mario Monti's technocratic government won the confidence vote as it was backed by other groups including the center-left Democratic Party (PD) and the centrist Union of the Center (UDC).

PD head and candidate for premiership Pier Luigi Bersani said that the actions of Berlusconi's party risked destabilizing the country ahead of spring national elections.

According to the PD, Monti should consult with President Giorgio Napolitano as his cabinet has effectively lost its majority in parliament.

Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera told Rai state television that it would not be positive if Berlusconi decided to stand for premiership.

"Anything that can make the rest of world, our partners, imagine we are turning back is not a good thing for Italy," he said, adding the country needs to "give the impression it is moving forward."

Echoing his words, director of leading newspaper Corriere della Sera, Ferruccio de Bortoli, said the PdL has transferred the confusion inside itself to cause system confusion, which is endangering Italy's reliability.

According to Guido Gentili, a columnist of influential financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, the long-term fragility of a restoration of public finances almost solely through tax hikes and the progressive fraying of the political picture risks to generate "a general standstill."

"This basic, and perspective, fragility will not go unnoticed to the always fearsome eye of the markets," he said.

Early on Thursday, the spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark shot up six points among increasing fears that the PdL may cause the Monti government to collapse.

Editor: Fang Yang
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