Florence

Democratic Party says it will fight PdL propaganda

Rossi says will counter Berlusconi forces on Ferragosto holiday

Democratic Party says it will fight PdL propaganda

(see related) Florence, August 14 - Supporters of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and his center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party may be out in force lobbying for his pardon, but a political opponent said Wednesday that he will be fighting back. Berlusconi's forces will be flying aircraft with banners demanding his pardon during Thursday's Ferragosto holiday, said Enrico Rossi, president of the Democratic Party (PD) in Tuscany. But in Tuscany, Rossi said that he intends to counter that with hand-delivered flyers supporting the Constitution and rule of law. "I will be in (the resort town of) Viareggio...to support the distribution of leaflets," supporting the courts in their conviction of Berlusconi on fraud charges. His comments, posted on Facebook, came as Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said he would consider if it were possible to pardon Berlusconi for his one-year conviction for tax fraud as well as a ban from public office. Opponents say Berlusconi should not be pardoned, but some fear that if he does not get his way, he will tear apart the fragile coalition government that now exists between the PdL and the PD. Rossi, like other PD lawmakers, noted that in his statement Napolitano stressed that all convictions must be implemented while the ex-premier's allies welcomed Napolitano's opening to the possibility of a pardon. The Senate is scheduled to vote next month on ejecting the PdL leader whether or not his ban is upheld.

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