Sunday, April 17, 2011

Berlusconi says he'll live to 120, won't quit

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he addresses supporters during a People of Freedom (PDL) party meeting in Rome. -- PHOTO: AP

ROME - ITALIAN Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday vowed not to quit, promising to hang in there as long as he's needed. And that could be a long time. He boasted playfully he'll live to 120.

Only a few days earlier, at a dinner for foreign correspondents, Mr Berlusconi seemed to be pre-announcing his eventual exit from power, telling the reporters that he has designated his justice minister as political heir, although he held out a role for himself as a kind of father-figure for his conservative Freedom People party.

The minister, Angelino Alfano, has designed an overhaul of Italy's justice system that the 74-year-old Mr Berlusconi's critics contend is custom-made to rescue the premier from his legal woes, although the government says the entire nation will benefit from a fairer, swifter justice system.

Among the trials Mr Berlusconi is involved is one in Milan in which he is charged with paying for sx with an underage prostitute.

Mr Berlusconi at the rally on Saturday kept up his railing against Milan magistrates he described as 'subversives' who sympathize with the left and are prosecuting him in hopes of ousting him from power.

But 'I'm not giving up. I'll be around as long as necessary,' Mr Berlusconi said, who has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence in all cases. Mr Berlusconi seemed to be thinking long-range. 'I'll make it to 120 years, even though I'm still a mortal,' Mr Berlusconi joked. 
-- AP

No comments: