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Italian right-wing leader hails new political bloc

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Italian right-wing leader hails new political bloc


A congress to merge Italy’s political right has entered its second day with a keynote speech from one of its leaders.

Gianfranco Fini, head of the country’s right-wing National Alliance, which is fusing with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, roused the founding bloc’s faithful by lauding Italy’s prime minister. ‘‘Silvio Berlusconi believed in the new People of Freedom even when this project was difficult to imagine,’‘ he told delegates. Referring to Europe, Fini also said: ‘‘At the heart of our platform are ideas and values. There is one manifesto, that of the European People’s party.’‘ For some observers, Fini, who is also speaker of the lower house of parliament, is biding his time to take over from Berlusconi. For others, he looks increasingly like an underling to the absolute leader. Whatever the case, both are hoping a new force in Italian politics has been created. .

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