17 Nov 2013

Old party relaunched by Berlusconi

12:18 pm on 17 November 2013

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has relaunched his old party, Forza Italia, following a split in the People of Freedom party.

A group led by Interior Minister and former party secretary Angelino Alfano, defected on Friday from the PDL. A group has been formed that has pledged to remain in the coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Berlusconi said on Saturday the break with Mr Alfano and others was due to personal differences rather than deep policy disagreements.

The BBC reports Berlusconi, 77, was convicted of tax fraud in October 2012. The Senate is to vote on whether to expel him.