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Berlusconi blasts Monti as out of touch, believes can win

Ex-premier says emergency govt a 'disaster'

03 January, 13:42
Berlusconi blasts Monti as out of touch, believes can win (see related stories) (ANSA) - Rome, January 3 - Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday blasted outgoing premier Mario Monti as an academic who is out of touch with the real world and said he was hopeful his People of Freedom (PdL) party can win next month's general elections even though they trail in the opinion polls. "Monti is a professor and professors... are distant from reality, which they look at through the keyhole while they have an assured salary and do not know the difficulties of businesses," Berlusconi said on Italian radio.

Berlusconi added that Italy should have had early elections in November 2011 when the financial crisis forced him to end his third term as Italian premier rather than making way for Monti's emergency government of unelected technocrats.

He also repeated criticism of the economic record of Monti's government.

"Everything has happened in a year. There has been the disaster of the technocrat government and we are in the full throes of a recession," Berlusconi said.

He was also optimistic the PdL, which is polling below 20% compared to over 30% for the centre-left Democratic Party, can win the elections.

"I think we have the chance to obtain a positive result," said the 76-year-old media magnate.

"It may look difficult but I believe we can win. Moderates and the middle class have always been the majority in Italy.

There is a majority of people who don't see themselves represented by the left".

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