Berlusconi for rightist minority government in Italy

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Rome, April 27 (IANS/AKI) Billionaire media tycoon and former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Friday suggested a centre-right minority government could be formed after the inconclusive March 4 national polls.

“We are talking about a government made up of forces that won the election,” he told supporters in the northeast city of Trieste ahead of elections due on Sunday in the surrounding Friuli Venezia-Giulia region.

“A government with an extremely concrete three-or-four-point programme that it is committed to implementing during its first 100 days – with the abstention or external support of the (centre-left) Democratic Party,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, Berlusconi said he was “certain” that his ally Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, would not abandon the centre-right alliance after Sunday’s regional election as some papers had reported.

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The elections in Friuli are expected to strengthen the hand of the League which became the biggest party in the centre-right alliance after it won nearly 18 percent of votes in last month’s national ballot compared with less than 14 percent won by Forza Italia.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella has struggled to form a coalition government since the election led to a hung parliament. No single party or political bloc has a clear majority although the centre-right alliance has the most seats and the populist Five-Star Movement is the biggest party.

Five-Star may start negotiations on coalition government with the Democratic Party after talks on a tie-up between Five-Star and the centre-right collapsed over its leader Luigi Di Maio’s refusal to govern with Berlusconi, who has a conviction for tax fraud and is on trial for bribery.

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–IANS/AKI

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