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Italy coalition leader sees Berlusconi as an obstacle

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Italy coalition leader sees Berlusconi as an obstacle


The leader of one of Italy’s ruling coalition parties has described Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a ‘problem’ preventing early elections.

Umberto Bossi, who heads up the Northern League, said he thinks it will be hard for the government to continue until 2013, when Berlusconi’s mandate runs out.

Bossi would prefer going to the polls sooner, but thinks that would be ‘complicated’ because of the prime minister, though he did not specifically mention why. Berlusconi has faced a series of scandals threatening his reputation.

The two men are also at loggerheads over who should be the next governor of the Bank of Italy. Berlusconi is backing bank director general, Fabrizio Saccomanni, who is second in command, to takeover from Mario Draghi, who has moved to the top job at the European Central Bank.

Bossi and his Northern League party want Vittorio Grilli, who is in charge of the Italian treasury and who is from their power base in Milan.

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