Berlusconi under pressure after Fini's ultimatum

London, Nov 08 (ANI): Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come under pressure to form a new administration with new policies after former neo-fascist leader and long-standing ally Gianfranco Fini issued him an ultimatum.

Fini, 58, warned Berlusconi, 74, that if he doesn't do so, Fini would withdraw his FLI followers from the government.

Fini, who for 15 years stood at Berlusconi's side, delivered his ultimatum in the course of a wide-ranging speech in which he criticised, and even ridiculed, the administration's performance.

Using language that appeared to leave an unbridgeable chasm between the two men, Fini accused Berlusconi of heading "the government of pretending everything is going well".

He spoke of "moral decay" caused by a "loss of decorum and rigour in the behaviour of those who, as public figures, are required to set an example".

If Fini were to follow through on his threat to withdraw from government, it could fatally weaken the Berlusconi administration.

"Nowhere in Europe is there a political movement as backward on civil liberties as the PdL," the Guardian quoted Fini as telling FLI delegates.

According to reports, Berlusconi told aides he had no intention of resigning and that it was now up to the FLI to vote against him in parliament - a move that would lay Fini and his followers open to charges of betraying the right. (ANI)

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