AP News

Berlusconi appears to back off from candidacy


ROME (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi is backing off from suggestions he may be seeking a comeback. He is even hinting he could support in the next elections Mario Monti, the non-political economist named to succeed him as premier to steer the country away from financial disaster.

The 76-year-old media mogul said in an interview on a family-controlled TV station Tuesday that he could take "a step backward" to allow moderates to form a coalition that could defeat the left in elections in the spring.

Berlusconi says he "wouldn't exclude" Monti as leader of such a moderate group.

With a personal legacy tarnished by sex and corruption scandals, Berlusconi has sought to play at least a role as a power broker since resigning.


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