Italy Officials Undercut Plan of Berlusconi

<i> Reuters</i>

Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and Umberto Bossi, a key partner in the governing coalition, have thrown cold water on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s efforts to distance himself from his vast business holdings.

Scalfaro said in a statement that while he appreciated Berlusconi’s plan, constitutional restraints would probably prevent him from helping guarantee its success.

He said he would wait to take a stand on Berlusconi’s proposal until a panel of jurists issued its report.

Bossi said the prime minister’s plan “didn’t stand up” and said his federalist Northern League would draft an alternative.


The prime minister announced Friday that he would submit a bill under which Scalfaro, the two Speakers of Parliament and antitrust authorities would jointly appoint a committee to oversee Berlusconi’s firm, Fininvest, as long as Berlusconi remained in office.