(see related stories) Rome, December 11 - Silvio Berlusconi blasted the record of Premier Mario Monti on Tuesday and said the former European commissioner has been too 'German-centric' since replacing him in office. Monti came to power at the helm of an administration of unelected technocrats a year ago when Berlusconi was forced to quit as premier with Italy's debt crisis threatening to spiral out of control. Monti has passed austerity measures, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called on countries at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis to adopt, that reassured investors Italy was putting its financial house in order. But these measures also deepened the recession the country slipped into last year. "Unfortunately, the Monti government has taken us into a crisis situation that is much worse than when we were in government," Berlusconi told one of his Mediaset TV channels via telephone. "Monti has followed a policy that is too German-centric. All the economic indicators are worse. It's not up to me to pass judgement, but all the figures are negative".
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di Giovanni Pastore