Campaigning in Italy is in its final day ahead of this weekend’s elections. The vote comes three years early, after Romano Prodi stepped down as prime minister when his coalition government collapsed in January.
Billionaire businessman and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 71, wants a third term as prime minister. His main rival is 52-year-old Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome. Mr. Berlusconi is ahead in opinion polls but 15% of voters are undecided.
At his final election rally in Rome on Thursday, Mr. Berlusconi appealed to his supporters to bring in more voters. “Get out there and do missionary work,” he told a crowd of 3,000 supporters.
Mr. Berlusconi is the head of a business empire that spans media, advertising, insurance, food and construction and includes the successful football club AC Milan. He is heading a new party – the People of Liberty. Mr. Veltroni is also leading a new party – the Democratic Party. He compares himself to US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and has promised to boost pay and pensions to stimulate the Italian economy.
The return of Berlusconi, the empire returns, the jester of the court strikes back! Ok I’m having fun with Silvio but I’m not sure if the Italians feel the same!