Napolitano chides Berlusconi for 'imaginary coups'
President tells Forza Italia boss that 'extremes do not help'16 December, 18:30
Napolitano has come under consistent pressure from Berlusconi and his supporters before the ex-premier was ejected earlier this month from the Senate following a definitive tax fraud conviction.
Berlusconi's supporters have insisted Napolitano should grant the founder of the Forza Italia (FI) political party a pardon, although Berlusconi has not ever directly requested one.
Berlusconi says that his ejection from the Senate, which followed a vote by senators, amounted to a coup d'état.
No one is "entitled to invoke imaginary coups," said Napolitano.
He also warned that Berlusconi's "extreme" comments have not helped a stable democracy in Italy.
"The extreme language does not help anyone and can only lead to failures in the democratic life," said Napolitano.
Berlusconi says the tax-fraud conviction, his first definitive sentence in two decades of legal battles, is part of a campaign of persecution by left-wing elements in the judiciary who allegedly want to sweep him from the country's political arena.
The four-year term for fraud at Berlusconi's Mediaset company has been commuted because of an amnesty to one year, which the 77-year-old has requested to serve by doing community service rather than under house arrest.
The media magnate is too old to actually go to jail under Italian law.
"It's a coup that starts from a criminal political sentence to destroy the leader of the centre right and clear the way for the left," Berlusconi has said.