Italy's Berlusconi to run in EU elections

Rome - Italy's scandal-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that he will run in upcoming European Parliament elections to spark a debate about "the future of the world."

The EU-wide ballot will take place in Italy on May 26.
"At the ripe old age that I have, I have decided, out of a sense of responsibility, to go to Europe where profound thinking about the future of the world is missing. I will be there and I pray the Lord to give me strength to convince many others," he said.
The 82-year-old, who was speaking from Sardinia while campaigning for his opposition centre-right Forza Italia party for a Sunday by-election, said he was concerned about China upstaging the European Union on the global stage.
Over a three-decade political career, Berlusconi has been mired in a long list of corruption and sex scandals. He was until last year barred from public office due to a conviction for tax fraud at his media empire.
He remains a combative, but marginalized figure, after being upstaged by former ally Matteo Salvini as the leading figure of the Italian right. Salvini's far-right League has more than 30 per cent in the polls, against less than 10 per cent for Berlusconi's Forza Italia.
Salvini is currently in government, as deputy premier and interior minister, with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Berlusconi has repeatedly called on the League leader to break free of that alliance and return to him.


Thursday, January 17th 2019

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