(ANSA) - Rome, March 1 - The magistrates union in Italy
fired back at former premier Silvio Berlusconi on Friday,
calling his promise for street demonstrations "dangerous" after
prosecutors presented accusations that he paid bribes to
destabilize a former government.
"Calling people to the streets in a moment such as this is
very dangerous," a statement from the National Magistrates'
Association said. "It calls into question the credibility of the
institution, which weakens the State itself and all other
Earlier Friday Berlusconi called for demonstrations on
March 23 "against magistrates" he accused of forcing Senator
Sergio De Gregorio to lie about receiving three million euros
from him to switch from centre left to centre right.
Berlusconi, who recently called Italian magistrates "worse than
the mafia," said they were trying to "eliminate" him after his
second-place election run.
Prosecutors said Thursday De Gregorio came forward in
December and admitted to the bribe from Berlusconi to
destabilize Romano Prodi's 2006-2008 government.
The centre right has accused the prosecutors of "clockwork
justice" in announcing the probe four days after Berlusconi came
a close second to centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani in the
general election, which produced no clear majority.
The polarized result has primed the parliament for
political gridlock, as well as raised questions about stability
in the recession-stricken country at large.