Italian centrist leader says to support government without Berlusconi

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, January 25, 2011
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Italian Centrist Party leader Pier Ferdinando Casini on Monday said he was ready to support a new center-right government if Silvio Berlusconi would quit as prime minister.

"Inside the leading People of Freedom Party there are many authoritative MPs who could lead the government instead of Berlusconi," said Casini.

The Centrist leader has repeatedly stressed that he is in favor of launching an alliance with the governing majority for the benefits of the country, but it is time for Berlusconi to step down from office, especially after the various sex scandals and probes in which he is involved.

In Casini's view, the recent investigation on Berlusconi's role in favoring minor prostitution has severely undermined the premier's reputation and citizens' confidence in him.

According to Casini, either Berlusconi accepts to resign or Italy will inevitably face the risk of an early vote. The premier should rather concentrate on the future of his own People of Freedom Party, said Casini, and give someone else the chance to govern the country.

"I think many other important MPs agree with the fact that Berlusconi's time is over, even if they will never openly say so," said the centrist leader.

Casini is one of the three leaders of the newly-born, so-called "Third Pole" coalition, jointly launched with Berlusconi's former ally House Speaker Gianfranco Fini and center-leftist Francesco Rutelli in an attempt to pave the way for a post-Berlusconi era.

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