Berlusconi warns ousting would be `political folly`

Italian PM proposes a deal with opponents on the eve of a confidence vote.

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday warned that ousting him would be "political folly" and proposed a deal with opponents on the eve of a crucial confidence vote in Parliament.

"I ask you... to reflect on the political folly that opening a crisis without visible and credible solutions would be today," Berlusconi said in a speech to the Senate, or upper house of Parliament.

"Our country is being shaken by serious tensions that concern the heart of the economic system -- the financial credibility of the state," he said.

Italy`s financial stability "depends on the confidence vote”, he said.

Berlusconi also offered to widen his ruling coalition to include the opposition Union of the Centre (UDC) party and members of his rival Gianfranco Fini`s Future and Freedom for Italy (FLI) political movement.

"I want to reconstitute the alliance of all the moderate forces that were the origin of our political engagement," Berlusconi said.

Bureau Report

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