Berlusconi says party must down arms
Ex-premier says will do all he can to reunite PdL11 October, 18:18
The PdL is in turmoil after Berlusconi last week failed in a bid to bring down Italy's unprecedented left-right government over his upcoming Senate expulsion.
Some centre-right lawmakers disobeyed him for the first time, forcing an embarrassing last-minute U-turn over a confidence vote for centre-left Premier Enrico Letta. The Pdl appeared on the verge of a split into Berlusconi loyalist hawks and pro-government doves after the mutiny but it has since been mending fences.
"We have to down arms and return to the party," Berlusconi told a meeting of PdL MEPs, ANSA sources said.
"I'll do all I can to reunite us". The sources said Berlusconi was critical of the five PdL ministers in the grand-coalition government, who are on the moderate wing of the party, saying the only one he chose for the cabinet was Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.
Alfano, who is also the PdL secretary, led the rebellion against Berlusconi's bid to sink the administration.
But the three-time Italian premier also reportedly had harsh words for loyalists who have been calling for a score-settling party congress.