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Monti slams Berlusconi in campaign

Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

BOLOGNA, Italy, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Mario Monti's election campaign for Italy's premiership has begun in earnest and includes attacking rival Silvio Berlusconi's scandal-tainted administration.

Speaking on state radio, Monti, head of a centrist bloc on a pro-Europe reformist platform, hammered away at Berlusconi's credibility and his alleged posturing on the issue of family values, the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

"Berlusconi has used unsuitable weapons against me, like family values, which speaks for itself. I think ethical values are fundamental and need to be defended. I hate parties that make use of these ethical values, which they do not often respect in daily life, as a weapon against rivals," Monti said.

Berlusconi has been accused by prosecutors of paying for sex with an alleged underage prostitute, has a reputation for partying with young models and showgirls and reached a legal separation from his wife, Veronica Lario, that will cost him 36 million Euros ($47.52 million) per year, the newspaper noted.

Monti's coalition is in a three-way race, in the February election, with the leftist Democratic Party and Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party on the right.

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