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I’m back: Berlusconi’s post-conviction about-face

Associated Press

ROME (AP) – Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he won’t run for premier again in spring elections, but he announced an undefined new movement to reform Italy’s justice system that convicted him of tax fraud.

In a rambling 50-minute speech Saturday, Berlusconi lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, criticized Italian Premier Mario Monti’s fiscal reforms and complained that Italy is now beholden to a “dictatorship of magistrates.”

He announced what sounded like a political platform to undo many of the reforms Monti has instituted in the year since he replaced Berlusconi. But Berlusconi insisted he wasn’t running for office, merely that he was launching an undefined “action” to reform Italy’s justice system.

A Milan court on Friday sentenced Berlusconi to four years in prison and barred him from public office for five years.

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