ROME — Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, booted out of Parliament last year after his tax fraud conviction, met on Saturday with his chief political foe, the leader of the main government coalition party, and agreed to back reforms to finally make Italy more governable.
Someone pelted Berlusconi's chauffeured sedan with an egg and some catcalls went up as he was driven into the Rome headquarters of the Democratic Party, the political heirs of Italian communists that the media mogul has spent decades loathing. Matteo Renzi, the brash new head of Premier Enrico Letta's Democratic Party, defied critics in his own ranks to court the media mogul in what turned out to be a successful gambit for a pledge of support.
Berlusconi,77, promised that his center-right Forza Italia party would back legislation to change the electoral system, a reform which has been bogged down for years by squabbling across Italy's fractious political spectrum and perpetuating a legacy of largely unstable governments.
Berlusconi said he will work for reforms that “will favor governability, a two-bloc system and eliminate the blackmail power of the tinier parties” in Parliament, Renzi told reporters after the more than two-hour meeting before rushing to catch a train back to Florence, where he is mayor.
After the Democratic Party, Forza Italia is Italy's No. 2 party. Although Berlusconi lost his Senate seat in November because of the conviction, the media mogul still leads Forza Italia, his creation. He insists he can make a political comeback despite his travails.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.