Rome

Return to Forza Italia only a proposal, says Berlusconi

Change of name must be discussed by party

Return to Forza Italia only a proposal, says Berlusconi

(ANSA) - Rome, July 16 - Former premier Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that he had only proposed changing the name of his People of Freedom (PdL) party back to Forza Italia and no decision had been taken as yet. Berlusconi was quoted as saying that the centre-right PdL would go back to the name it had before the 2009 merger with the rightwing National Alliance (AN) in an interview published in Monday's edition of German newspaper Bild. The return to the old name was criticised by some PdL members who used to belong to AN, including former defence minister Ignazio La Russa. "In the interview that appeared in Bild, the idea of a change of name from People of Freedom to Forza Italia was mistaken because, as is logical and evident, it is not a decision taken, just an idea, a proposal to talk about and assess at the appropriate venues," Berlusconi said. PdL officials said last week that the 75-year-old media magnate intends to stand at next year's general elections. Three-time premier Berlusconi said he would not run again after he resigned from the helm of government in November and was replaced by Mario Monti and his emergency administration of non-political technocrats.

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