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Berlusconi says Bersani is real opponent, not Monti

Ex-premier blasts PD's 'Communist ideology'

02 January, 16:40
Berlusconi says Bersani is real opponent, not Monti

(ANSA) - Rome, January 2 - Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday that he considered centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to be his real opponent in next month's general elections, not outgoing Premier Mario Monti.

"No. No," Berlusconi said when asked whether he thought Monti was his main adversary.

"Our opponent is always the party that comes from the Communist ideology," he said referring to Bersani's Democratic Party (PD).

"It has changed name but it has radical roots in that idea and has Bersani as its representative".

Bersani is a veteran of Italy's former Communist party, the rump of which changed into a social democratic party after the fall of the Berlin wall before merging with the centrist Margherita (Daisy) party to form the PD in 2007.

Monti took over the helm of an emergency administration of unelected technocrats in November 2011 after the financial crisis forced centre-right leader Berlusconi to resign as premier and end his third stint as premier.

Former European commissioner Monti said last month he would run for premier at the head of a group of parties willing to back his reform agenda.