Berlusconi plans to run in European elections

 QUARTU - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party, said Thursday that he will run in the European Parliamentary elections on May 26. "I have decided out of a sense of responsibility to go to Europe where there is no deep thought in the world," said Berlusconi at one of a series of rallies in Sardinia.

 On a national tour ahead of upcoming administrative elections that will take place in February, Berlusconi declared that “his knowledge, experiences and ability to convince” would enable him to play a key role and “make European citizens understand that we risk moving away from Western values.”

 This announcement of Berlusconi’s candidacy falls exactly 25 years after the television message in which he announced his “descent into the field” in Jan. 1994. Berlusconi won the election two months later giving life to his first government, which lasted less than a year. Berlusconi was forced out of politics in 2013 after a tax fraud conviction which prevented him from running in last year’s general election. The ban relating to this conviction has now expired and 82-year-old Berlusconi is eligible to stand again for public office.

 During his address, the former prime minister said that he does not think that the current government coalition between the League and the 5-Star Movement (M5S) will last.“The ‘yellow-green’ alliance is unnatural, a real disgrace for all of us and I do not think it will manage to succeed,” he said. “I hope that a rupture between the League and the M5S will happen soon. Much turbulence has recently emerged in parliament, which leads me to think that this government does not have much time left ahead of it.”