Rome

Berlusconi would back Draghi to be Italian president

Ex-premier has 'never had ambition' of becoming head of state

Berlusconi would back Draghi to be Italian president

Rome, January 15 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that his People of Freedom (PdL) party would vote to have European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi named Italian President if he were among the possible candidates. Former Bank of Italy governor Draghi became ECB president in November 2011 and he has widely been credited with saving the euro by announcing plans last year to support the bonds of states facing soaring borrowing costs. "Absolutely yes," Berlusconi told La7 television when asked if he would back Draghi to become Italy's head of state. "If there were a majority (in parliament) that proposed him, I'd vote for him". Berlusconi, who is leading the centre right's campaigning ahead of next month's general election but has said he would like to be economy minister if the coalition wins, dismissed speculation that he wanted to become Italian president one day. "I've never had the ambition of being Italian president," the three-time Italian premier said. The seven-year term of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is coming to an end and the current head of state has said he will not seek another.

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