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Berlusconi wishes Renzi well, but says switch not democratic

Media magnate says 'last premier elected by people'

14 February, 20:17
Berlusconi wishes Renzi well, but says switch not democratic (ANSA) - Arborea, February 14 - Silvio Berlusconi said Friday that he wished Matteo Renzi well, but stressed he disagreed with political maneuvering that looks likely to see the Democratic Party (PD) leader become premier.

Centre-right leader Berlusconi also pointed out that he was the last premier to be elected by the Italian people.

The most recent of Berlusconi's three governments collapsed when he resigned in November 2011 with Italy in danger of a Greek-style financial meltdown.

It was replaced by the emergency technocrat administration of Mario Monti, which made way for outgoing Premier Enrico Letta's coalition government after last year's inconclusive general election.

Letta's resigned Friday after losing a power struggle with his PD colleague Renzi, who is also the mayor of Florence and now looks poised to be Italy's third unelected premier in a little over two years. "I wish Renzi well from all of my heart, but that does not mean that what is happening should be written down as something that can happen in a democracy," Berlusconi said at a rally for his centre-right Forza Italia party ahead of upcoming regional elections in Sardinia.

"I'm the last premier to have been elected by the people".

Berlusconi remarked on how Letta's government had been brought down by "the mayor of a little city, a beautiful one, but one which does not have 500,000 inhabitants".