7 Dec 2012

Stirrings by Berlusconi

12:53 pm on 7 December 2012

The PDL party (People of Freedom) in Italy led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has abstained from confidence votes in parliament and indicated that he will attempt to return to power.

Though the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti won the necessary votes in both houses, the BBC reports the move by the PDL

PDL lower house leader Fabrizio Cicchitto said the party abstained from the vote "to show our strongly critical view of their economic policies".

But he later indicated that the PDL would not attempt to bring down the government.

The BBC reports Mr Berlusconi, 76, appeared on Wednesday to be rowing back on statements that he would not run in 2013.

"I am being assailed by requests to return to the field as soon as possible," he said after a meeting of party leaders.

"Italy today is on the edge of a cliff. I cannot allow this," he said, claiming that the situation now was "far worse than when I left office last year".

The party later said it had called off a primary that was going to be held to decide who would lead it into a general election in the spring.