Berlusconi party hardliner offers to take back seat to save party

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2013 8:32 AM
Berlusconi party hardliner offers to take back seat to save party

ROME (Reuters) - One of Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi's most prominent hardline advisers, Daniela Santanche, offered on Tuesday to take a back seat to preserve party unity and safeguard Berlusconi's leadership.

Berlusconi's People of Freedom party (PDL) is increasingly divided between "hawks" who urged him to take his shock decision to withdraw the PDL ministers from the government on Saturday, and more moderate "doves" who say it was a mistake.

Santanche said she was willing to offer her "head on a platter" to PDL national secretary Angelino Alfano, a well-known dove, "because the only thing that interests me is the good of our voters and Italy, and that it's not Berlusconi's head that ends up on that platter."

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)