Silvio Berlusconi wants to hold a high office with a sometimes extremely right-wing alliance. Manfred Weber gives his blessing – parts of the CSU are outraged.
Munich/Rome – There is considerable irritation in the CSU about how to deal with Italy’s ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Party Deputy Manfred Weber supported Berlusconi’s candidacy for Italy’s President. “Because he has shown that he has the awareness to hold the office,” Weber told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Weber’s analysis causes resentment in parts of the CSU. Berlusconi (85) has to answer in court for bribery – seven years of immunity as head of state would be just right. Even his “Bunga-Bunga parties” with very young women are morally not unqualified as a role model. Before the January 24 elections, Berlusconi forged a controversial alliance of supporters with his conservative Forza Italia, the right-wing Lega and the far-right Fratelli d’Italia.
CSU excitement about Weber and Berlusconi: Ferber does not want to see the statement on behalf of the party
The Swabian CSU boss Markus Ferber criticizes this sharply. “Anyone who joins forces with the Lega and the Fratelli – which we in the European Parliament avoid – can of course not have the support of the CSU,” said Ferber Munich Mercury. As chairman of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, which has had an office in Rome since January, he says very clearly: “We distance ourselves from the Lega and the Fratelli.”
Ferber made it clear that he considers Berlusconi unsuitable. Italy needs a president “from the middle, not from the fringes”. Representing the center “is not the hallmark of Silvio Berlusconi”. According to Ferber, Weber could not have commented on the matter as a CSU deputy, but only in his function as chairman of the conservative EPP group in parliament. (cd)