Thursday

23rd Mar 2017

Berlusconi: Italy's next finance minister?

  • Some Italian commentators believe Berlusconi would wangle his way to the PM post if his coalition wins despite his comments (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Italy's former leader, Silvio Berlusconi, will join forces with the Northern League party in next month's elections, but does not want to be Prime Minister again.

Speaking on Italian radio on Monday (7 January), he said the new alliance was clinched in talks in the small hours of the morning.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He used the Latin phrase "Habeas Papam," or "We have a Pope," in reference to Vatican election customs, but added that if the coalition wins, he will put forward his PDL party's secretary, Angelino Alfano, for the country's top job.

"Alfano could be our candidate for Prime Minister and I could be the finance minister ... which would allow me to demonstrate once again that I have no political ambitions, that I don't consider politics as something that brings me any advantages," he said.

He also attacked Mario Monti, the country's technocrat caretaker leader, for his "immoral" decision to run in the vote despite previous promises.

"When he [Monti] was made Prime Minister he said - and he told me this, too - that once his mandate had expired, he would no longer be a political player," Berlusconi said.

For his part, Roberto Maroni, the Northern League chief, also told media that Monday's coalition agreement "says explicitly that the candidate for Prime Minister will not be Silvio Berlusconi."

According to an Ipso poll out on Sunday, the disgraced former leader (a convicted fraudster who still faces charges of paying for sex with a minor) and the league (an anti-immigrant party which wants financial autonomy for Italy's richer northern regions) could get 28 percent of the vote.

The centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and its SEL party ally are tipped to win with up to 39 percent.

But a strong result for PDL-Northern-League in the senate might force PD to team up with Monti's centre-right coalition (set to gain up to 19 percent) in order to get laws through parliament, in a deal which could see Monti reinstalled as PM.

Meanwhile, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo is predicted to get 14 percent.

With Berlusconi previously vowing to roll back Monti-era austerity measures, such as a new property tax, Monday's announcement caused a setback for Italian bonds.

Yields on Italy's 10-year papers rose by 0.03 percent to 4.25 percent, even as some EU leaders voiced optimism that the sovereign debt crisis is over.

"I think we can say that the existential threat against the euro has essentially been overcome ... In 2013 the question won't be if the euro will, or will not, implode," European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso told press in Lisbon on Monday.

EU leaders back Monti against Berlusconi

Germany's Merkel and other centre-right leaders have indicated they would like to see Mario Monti to keep on running Italy instead of Silvio Berlusconi.

Monti to resign after Berlusconi seeks comeback

Italy's Monti has said he will step down as PM after media magnate and convicted fraudster Berlusconi broke up his parliamentary majority and announced he will stand for re-election.

Monti attacks 'short-termism' in EU politics

Italian Prime Minister Monti has criticised fellow EU leaders for the way they dealt with the euro crisis and said the UK is right to pose fundamental questions.

French candidates avoid EU debate

In their first TV debate, the main candidates for the April election only briefly discussed the country's EU policies, with far-right Le Pen and centrist Macron taking aim at each other.

News in Brief

  1. Russia invites EU diplomats to occupied Crimea
  2. UK parliament in lockdown after reported attack
  3. Brussels attacks remembered with minute of silence and noise
  4. Magnitsky's lawyer injured near Moscow
  5. Trump to travel to Brussels on 25 May for Nato summit
  6. Polish defence minister accuses Tusk of treason
  7. Fillon slips in polls as new allegations emerge
  8. Brexit summit for EU-27 will be on 29 April

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Advertisements
  2. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  3. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  4. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  6. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  7. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  8. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  9. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  10. Malta EU 2017Consumer Protection Laws to Be Strengthened by EU-Wide Cooperation
  11. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted
  12. UNICEFSyria Conflict 6 Years On: Children's Suffering at Its Worst

Latest News

  1. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times
  2. Terror attack shuts down UK parliament
  3. Catalonia and Scotland at core of Europe's geopolitical conundrum
  4. La présidentielle française sous cyber-alerte maximale
  5. EU doing well in global energy ranking
  6. Child migrants endure 'abysmal conditions'
  7. French socialist woos Europe with new vision
  8. EU to Macedonia: 'Stop playing with fire'