Berlusconi says ban would be 'wound' to democracy
Tax-fraud sentence 'unreal'29 August, 18:59
(ANSA) - Rome, August 29 - Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday losing his Senate seat because of an August 1 tax-fraud conviction would be a "deep wound" to Italian democracy. He said he led Italy's "top party" and called the four-year sentence, his first definitive conviction in 20 years of legal woes, "unreal and based on nothing". A Senate committee is set to vote September 9 on the ban, against which Berlusconi has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights and Italy's Constitutional Court.
The three-time premier dismissed the explanation of the sentence, issued earlier Thursday, as a "collage" of previous sentences from magistrates he has always seen as left-wing.
The centre-right leader added that achieving his flagship election pledge of removing an unpopular property tax called IMU was "just the start" for Italy's unprecedented left-right government, which he said would soon "jumpstart" the economy.