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Former Prime Minister Berlusconi Adds to Italy Turmoil

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threw his week-old political comeback into doubt, signaling he’d yield if Mario Monti agrees to enter the election campaign as part of a coalition of “moderates.”

“If Monti decides to accept the request of the whole moderate bloc” and seek the premiership, “I would not have any problem in withdrawing my bid to be prime minister and could accept to be the coordinator of the coalition,” he told reporters in Rome late yesterday.

Berlusconi’s remarks came a day after the Northern League, his coalition partner in all three of his governments, said they wouldn’t support his latest candidacy. Berlusconi’s party had less than 20 percent support in a poll released yesterday. The euro jumped following his comments.

“Berlusconi is in a corner,” said Roberto D’Alimonte, a professor of politics at Luiss University in Rome. “At this point, anything can happen, including that he won’t run at all and that his party eventually implodes. In any case, if he decides to run in these circumstances, he would lose badly.”

via Bloomberg [1]

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