Berlusconi wants to be economy minister, not PM

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2013 17:30 hrs

Rome, Jan 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said Monday he has reached an agreement with the Northern League party to jointly fight the upcoming elections and that he wants to be the country's economy minister in the new government.

Telling the Italian media that his People of Freedom (PDL) party has struck the deal with the Northern League, which was a coalition partner in his last government, Berlusconi said he does not plan to serve another term as the prime minister.

People of Freedom party's secretary Angelino Alfano is a most likely candidate for the prime minister's post, if they win at the February elections, Berlusconi told Rtl 102.5 Italian radio station.

Talks between the two parties had lasted for several weeks with the Northern League's head Roberto Maroni insisting Berlusconi withdraw his candidacy for prime minister.

An opinion poll published earlier suggested the PDL and Northern League would win 28 percent of the vote. A centre-left coalition head by Pier Luigi Bersani of the Democratic Party would gather between 38 and 39 percent, while Prime Minister Mario Monti's centrist bloc could get around 15 percent, the poll said.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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