(ANSA) - Forlì, August 30 - Florence Mayor and rising star
in the center left Matteo Renzi slammed ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi for not stepping down from his Senate seat after a
definitive conviction for tax fraud from the supreme Court of
"In any civilized country, a leader who's definitively
convicted leaves on his own, without waiting to be kicked out,"
said Renzi at a rally for the Democratic Party (PD) in Forlì.
A Senate committee is set to begin proceedings September 9
to determine whether to strip Berlusconi of his seat in the
upper house as part of an anti-corruption law that kicked in
after his August 1 conviction for fraud on film rights at his
Mediaset media empire.
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.
His party has threatened to pull its support from the
fragile executive and force snap elections if he loses his
Renzi, a charismatic 38-year-old seen as a likely candidate
for premier, was making a highly anticipated return to the
political soap box after summer holidays.