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Berlusconi meets with rival party leader in Italy
Berlusconi meets with rival party's leader seeking his support in Italy
Associated Press
2014-01-19 03:22 AM

ROME (AP) -- Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has met with a political rival who leads the main party in Italy's tense coalition government.

Berlusconi shifted his party to the opposition in November after the Senate evicted him following his tax fraud conviction.

Matteo Renzi, the new head of Premier Enrico Letta's Democratic Party, courted the media mogul Saturday in the hopes of broadening support for electoral reforms to make Italy more "governable."

Berlusconi's conviction bars him from holding public office now, but he hopes for a comeback as head of his right-leaning Forza Italia party.

Ex-Berlusconi loyalists, including Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, who back Letta's coalition are warning that any hasty deal with the former premier might threaten the 9-month-old government's survival. Renzi's own party is split over his overtures to Berlusconi.

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