Berlusconi does not want to become head of government again after all

Berlusconi does not want to become head of government again after all

After long deliberations, the 76-year-old officially announced on the website of his party pdl (people of freedom) on wednesday evening that he was not available as a candidate. After 18 years in politics, the milanese media entrepreneur, billionaire and three-time prime minister is now stepping down into the second row. In the summer, berlusconi was still considering running again to help his center-right party out of a massive polling slump.

"But i remain by the side of those who are younger, who have to play and score goals," wrote the 76-year-old, who is also the owner of the AC milan football club. According to berlusconi, the candidate of his center-right party will be chosen in a primary election in mid december. Party leader angelino alfano is considered a promising candidate. However, several other pdl politicians have already announced their candidacy, including former minister giancarlo galan.

The once strongest party had fallen to third place in the polls in recent months, shaken by internal strife and chaos. It is clearly behind the center-left PD (partito democratico) and has also been overtaken by the populist internet movement "five stars" of the comedian beppe grillo.

The parliamentary elections in april 2013 will then be about who will continue to pull the country out of the debt and growth crisis after the current head of government, mario monti, has been appointed for reforms. It could come down again to the economic expert monti. He was appointed to the post by president giorgio napolitano after berlusconi’s resignation in november 2011 and has won back european trust in italy with a series of austerity and tax laws.

Berlusconi found in his announcement strikingly praising words for the reform policy of the non-party professor of economics. Mario monti’s unelected technocrat government had done all it could to reform the country, which was mired in a deep debt crisis. Monti also resisted "the abstruse neocolonial aspirations that are cultivated in some european circles," berlusconi added. He had repeatedly criticized the strict german course in the euro-crisis.