Berlusconi Seeks Italy Premiership as Monti Government Teeters

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced out of office a year ago, confirmed he will run for the premiership again in next year’s elections.

“I am returning to the public sphere due to desperation,” Berlusconi told reporters today, according to a video posted on the website of Sky TG24. He accused Prime Minister Mario Monti of implementing policies to please a “German-centric” European Union.

Berlusconi, 76, is preparing a comeback by disowning his ties to Monti’s government and appealing to voters weary of austerity and recession. The billionaire media magnate, who was sentenced in October to four years in prison for fraud, reiterated that his People of Liberty party will withdraw its support for the government and said he is in favor of scheduling parliamentary elections for March 10.

Berlusconi is pending appeal of his fraud conviction. In an unrelated case, he is standing trial on charges of abuse of power and engaging a minor in prostitution, allegations he has denied.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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