After Italian center-right parties approved Silvio Berlusconi (85) as a candidate for head of state, European politician Manfred Weber approved his candidacy. “As the leader of the European People’s Party group, I support Berlusconi for the presidency because he has shown that he has the consciousness to take office,” the CSU politician told Corriere della Sera newspaper (Saturday issue).
The Social Democrats criticized Webber’s support for Berlusconi. Parliamentary group leader Achim Post said that the fact that the leader of the parliamentary group of the European People’s Party is blessing his candidacy, which is also backed by far-right forces, is more than strange. Post told Berlusconi that there must be a unanimous position among Democrats not to do anything “with the far-right, the enemies of democracy”. “I expect a clear divergence, especially from Frederick Merz as the new CDU chief,” he emphasized.
“The correct form”
The night before, the leadership of Berlusconi’s conservative party, Forza Italia, the right-wing Lega, and the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) met at Berlusconi’s Villa Grande in Rome. “The party leaders in the coalition agreed that Silvio Berlusconi is the right person to fill the highest office in this difficult situation with the power and experience that the country deserves and that Italians expect,” the statement said.
Berlusconi has long been considered a candidate for president. However, so far observers estimate that he has not yet come up with the necessary votes. Berlusconi is said to have been in contact with hesitant people from other parties for some time. The first vote is scheduled for January 24 in Rome.
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