Silvio Berlusconi Hints Political Career Is Not Over

12:44 PM PST 12/15/2011 by Eric J. Lyman
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Silvio Berlusconi

Italy's former prime minister said that Mediaset will not bid on television frequencies.

ROME – Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that the Mediaset broadcast giant he controls would not participate in the anticipated state auction of television frequencies, while he also posted on social media sites that his work in Italian politics is not finished.

No state auction of frequencies has been announced, though such a move is being mulled as a way to increase government revenue as the new government struggles to prevent Italy from falling victim to Europe’s growing debt crisis. But Berlusconi said that if that indeed happens, Mediaset would not be interested.

“This subject just leaves me cold,” Berlusconi said. “I am completely uninterested. With the incredible number of frequencies today there will be little competition to take them. It will be difficult to imagine anyone making a serious offer.”

Berlusconi, a billionaire media tycoon, stepped down as prime minister on Nov. 12 amid plummeting popularity tied to personal and legal scandal and the escalating impacts of Europe’s debt problems. But despite that resignation, the 75-year-old posted to his Facebook page that he might not be completely finished with politics.

Berlusconi stopped short of saying he would run for office again. He said that would fall to younger men: he specifically mentioned 40-year-old Angelino Alfano, the general secretary of the People of Liberty political party Berlusconi founded as someone who would make a good prime minister. But he said that together with Alfano and Berlusconi’s other political allies, he would “be able to continue [his] work in politics.” He said he had no intention of stepping away from the political spotlight.

“I believe my political commitments should be continued,” he said.

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