Berlusconi says backs Italy government despite legal woes
BRESCIA, ITALY (MAY 11, 2013) (PEOPLE OF FREEDOM PARTY HANDOUT) - Italy's Silvio Berlusconi pledged on Saturday (May 11) to keep supporting the government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta, despite hopes by opponents that he would trigger a political crisis after judges rejected his appeal against a tax fraud conviction this week.
"I tell you, if someone thought they'd manage to discourage me, they are greatly mistaken. If someone thought they'd scare me off, they're greatly mistaken," he told a rally in the northern city of Brescia. "But as always they were mistaken. We intend to continue to support this government."
"We believe in this government and we will support it loyally because it is a government that is committed to implementing the measures which we believe are essential to relaunch the economy."
Berlusconi is not a minister in Letta's coalition, which groups traditional rivals on the centre left and centre right, but plays a decisive behind-the-scenes role and could bring the government down by withdrawing support in parliament.
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