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EU leaders rally against Berlusconi's premiership bid

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EU leaders rally against Berlusconi's premiership bid

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Silvio Berlusconi is facing increasing pressure from EU leaders to pull his surprise bid to become Italy’s premier for a fifth time.

A week, they say, is a long time in politics and Berlusconi’s reversal of opinion and support for the incumbent Mario Monti has led some EU leaders to question his hopes of making a spectacular comeback.

France’s President Francois Hollande said: “I don’t think there are very serious prospects on Mr Berlusconi’s front. He himself seems to have excluded his candidacy, however what is true with him one day can change the next day.”

Monti is widely credited with restoring Italy’s international credibility after it plunged into financial crisis last year, but polls suggest he would have little chance of winning an election if he were to run as a candidate. As yet, he has given no clear indication of his intentions.