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Berlusconi addresses supporters in Rome

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Berlusconi addresses supporters in Rome


Thousands of supporters of Silvio Berlusconi have protested in Rome against his tax fraud conviction.

Italy’s supreme court on Thursday upheld a prison sentence for the former Italian prime minister. However, this has been reduced from four years to one.

The conviction has rocked the fragile coalition government made up of Berlusconi’s centre right People of Freedom party and the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

“We have said loud and clear that the government must continue to approve the economic measures that we have asked for and that have been agreed,” he said.

“I’m here, I’m not going anywhere and I’m not giving up,” he added to the cheers of his supporters.

Berlusconi is still awaiting a verdict in an appeal against a conviction for allegedly paying for sex with an underage prostitute known as the Ruby scandal.

It is feared that despite Berlusconi’s support for the government the strife will prevent important reforms needed to drag the eurozone’s third largest economy out of recession.

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