facebook
twitter
search
search

Berlusconi says he won't topple government

Nov. 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

ROME, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Silvio Berlusconi has recanted a threat to fell the government of Mario Monti, saying his political party would not campaign against the Italian prime minister.

The former premier was convicted last Friday of tax evasion and issued the threat Saturday, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Thursday.

Berlusconi said even though his center-right People of Freedom party would not actively work against Monti, "we are convinced that austerity measures imposed by the European Union have put the economy on an endless, downward spiral."

Italy's financial crisis forced Berlusconi to resign last year.

Berlusconi's threat had drawn criticism from within his own party.

House whip Fabrizio Cicchitto said attempts to bring down the government could shake investor confidence and cause Italy's borrowing rates to go up.

Party secretary Angelino Alfano distanced himself from Berlusconi's remarks Monday, stirring rumors of a party fracture if the ex-premier carried out his threat.

An Italian newspaper said Alfano's stance had angered Berlusconi but early Thursday he issued a statement denying any rift.

In the statement, Berlusconi confirmed "his close relationship of trust and affection" with Alfano.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korean diplomats sending their children to mental hospitals
Catholic Church in Norway ordered to pay $5.1 million for fraud
Report: North Korea executed over 1,300 people
Shark bite confirmed off North Carolina shore
Ex-Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening seeks forgiveness from God