Rome

Berlusconi a 'Pied Piper' leading Italy to doom, says Monti

Outgoing premier says predecessor misled Italy too many times

Berlusconi a 'Pied Piper' leading Italy to doom, says Monti

Rome, January 14 - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is a kind of "Pied Piper" who will lead Italians to their doom, outgoing Premier Mario Monti warned in a television interview broadcast Monday. As the Italian election campaign heats up before next month's national vote, Monti attacked the ex-premier, suggesting the right-leaning Berlusconi has mislead the public in at least three previous campaigns. "Berlusconi...reminds me of the tale of the Pied Piper with the mice going to drown in the river," Monti told television talk show 'Porta a Porta'. "He is someone who has already deluded Italians three times". Monti, who has resigned as caretaker premier to head a centre-right coalition for election on February 25 and 26, said the future of the Italian economy will depend on who is elected. He also gave a nod to public-opinion polls suggesting leftist leader Pier Luigi Bersani and his Democratic Party are leading thus far in the campaign. "Bersani is convinced he is going to govern? It seems not only legitimate, but likely, according to the polls," said Monti. Last week, Bersani suggested his party would open its doors to Monti if it wins the election. However, Monti replied then that it was "premature" to speak of alliances. Monti, who took over a government of technocrats amid a peak in the euro crisis in November 2011, has been trying to present himself as a centrist alternative to the center-left PD and Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

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