Rome

Merkel sidesteps question on Berlusconi return

Ex-premier criticised fiscal compact at weekend

Merkel sidesteps question on Berlusconi return

(ANSA) - Rome, September 17 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday sidestepped a question on the possible return of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi to front-line politics. Berlusconi, who was forced to step down in November when Italy looked in danger of being overwhelmed by the eurozone crisis, ended a long silence at the weekend with some controversial comments, including criticism of the EU's Fiscal Compact. The 75-year-old media magnate has said he has not yet decided whether he will run for a fourth term as Italian premier at elections next year. He had said he would not stand again after he resigned as premier in November to make way for Mario Monti's emergency technocrat administration but leading members of his People of Freedom (PdL) party have said he will be their candidate next spring. "I'm a democratic politician," Merkel told a news conference when asked if she was worried about the prospect of Berlusconi's coming back. "And I concentrate on Germany and on concrete facts".

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