(ANSA) - Rome, February 14 - Top brass of Silvio
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party on Thursday reacted
angrily to recommendations by German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble that Italians refrain from voting for the ex-premier
in parliamentary elections on February 24 and 25.
"The German minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's declarations show
that Germany now openly claims the right to intervene in the
choice of the next Italian government, as though Italy were a
country with limited sovereignty or an area under German
influence," said PdL national coordinator Sandro Bondi, asking
outgoing Premier Mario Monti and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi
what measures they intended to take against the German
"There is no limit to the German government's arrogance,"
echoed PdL House whip Fabrizio Cicchitto.
"Now Schaeuble is even telling us what we have to do and
obviously he fully endorses Monti: another reason not to vote
In an interview to the weekly Espresso magazine, Schaeuble
advised Italians "not to repeat their former mistake by
continuing to vote for (Berlusconi)" on grounds that a return to
power by the media magnate would considerably weaken Italy and
the whole of Europe.
He also said the country needed to remain on the path of
stability charted by Monti.
Berlusconi is leading the centre-right election campaign
against the centre left led by Pier Luigi Bersani of the
Democratic Party (PD), the frontrunner before a pre-election
blackout of opinion surveys kicked in last week.
The two main coalitions are followed by the populist and
anti-establishment Five Star Movement of Genoa comedian Beppe
Grillo and a coalition of centrist parties on a reform platform
led by Monti.