Rome

Berlusconi dismisses U.S. ambassador centre-left 'support'

Thorne reportedly indicated preference for 'stable' govt

Berlusconi dismisses U.S. ambassador centre-left 'support'

Rome, February 12 - Ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday dismissed an apparent call for a centre-left government from United States Ambassador to Italy David Thorne. Centre-right leader Berlusconi told an ANSA forum that he had "never taken ambassadors' opinions 100% (seriously)" because it was the US government's view that counted. He recalled that he had always been "extremely close" to presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, so "there are no worries on our part" concerning the US view on the February 24-25 Italian elections. Thorne was quoted in the Italian media Tuesday as saying it would be desirable for Italy to have a stable centre-left government. The centre-left coalition is leading the polls but Berlusconi is closing the gap thanks to a media blitz and a series of tax pledges.

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