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Berlusconi says foreign-contract probes economic 'suicide'

Only governments, firms 'should intervene' in agreements

12 February, 13:52
Berlusconi says foreign-contract probes economic 'suicide' (see related stories) (ANSA) - Rome, February 12 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that probes by Italian prosecutors into contracts Italian firms sign abroad were a form of economic suicide.

Earlier on Tuesday Giuseppe Orsi, the head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, was arrested as part of a probe into allegations bribes were paid to secure a contract for the sale to the Indian government of 12 helicopters. "Everyone knows that as well as the tenders, agreements between governments are also involved," Berlusconi told ANSA.

"The fact that there is the risk of magistrates intervening I consider to be economic suicide".