Rome

Alfano not ruling out return to 'Forza Italia'

Reports Berlusconi wants to dump PdL name, overhaul party

Alfano not ruling out return to 'Forza Italia'

Rome, June 14 - The secretary of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, on Friday did not rule out the possibility that the party would undergo a major overhaul and revert to the name Forza Italia. Berlusconi is reportedly considering big changes, including a name change, after the PdL was soundly beaten by the centre-left Democratic Party at a recent round of local elections, losing all 16 of the provincial capitals up for grabs, including Rome. "We are thinking about renewing our presence at the local level, with new elements from civil society and leading players form the business world, who can help with this renewal of the party, which will have Silvio Berlusconi as its leader, as in recent years," said Alfano. Three-time premier Berlusconi last year proposed changing the party's name to the one it had before the 2009 merger with the right-wing National Alliance (AN). But nothing came of it following criticism from some PdL members who used to belong to AN. Media magnate and AC Milan owner Berlusconi entered politics in 1994 and swept to victory with Forza Italia (Go Italy!), a name that evokes the chants Italian fans sing at soccer matches, later that year.

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