Rome

Berlusconi doesn't want to be premier again

Rules out being minister in a Letta administration

Berlusconi doesn't want to be premier again

Rome, April 27 - Three-time Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has said he does not want to be head of government ever again and ruled out being a minister in the left-right government Enrico Letta of the Democratic Party (PD) looks set to form. "No, No, No," Berlusconi told Fox News when asked if he would like to have a fourth stint as prime minister. "I was premier for (a total of) nine years and when I wasn't I was the leader of the opposition". After meeting Letta at the House on Saturday, the 76-year-old media magnate said "I will not be a minister" in an eventual Letta administration. There has been speculation that the cabinet of the new government will be relatively young and largely devoid of heavyweight members of the two main parties, the centre-left PD and Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party. In part this would be a response to public disenchantment with the established political class, which has been hit by a series of corruption scandals and is widely seen to have failed to address many of the country's economic woes. This disenchantment was seen as a crucial factor in the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement capturing around a quarter of the vote in February's inconclusive general election. Fresh faces in the cabinet may also help contribute to positive climate, some experts say, after the bitterness of the disputes between the PD and PdL big guns in recent years.

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