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Berlusconi says his coalition has taken the lead

Ex-premier says nominating Monti as life Senator a mistake

11 February, 15:23
Berlusconi says his coalition has taken the lead (ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that he was sure his center-right coalition was now leading their opponents, the center-left Democratic Party (PD), in the polls for the upcoming elections. "I believe that we have overtaken them...they are now (trailing) behind us," Berlusconi said on radio program 'Un Giorno da Pecora'.

Back-and-forth sparring has been on the increase among candidates in the run-up to the February 24-25 national elections in Italy.

Berlusconi said during the interview that he had made a "major screwup" when he countersigned the nomination that made outgoing Premier Mario Monti, currently leading a center-left coalition, life Senator.

The ex-premier and People of Freedom party (PdL) leader also defended sexually-loaded comments he made to a young factory worker in Veneto over the weekend, saying that they had been taken "out of context".

"The joke was applauded," if it was misconstrued it is because "there are malicious people," Berlusconi said.

On Sunday, Berlusconi asked a solar power technician during a company visit if she made house calls, if she "comes to homes" and how many times she is willing "to come".