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April 24, 2014

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Berlusconi pledges responsible opposition

Updated Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 | 10:59 a.m.

ROME (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi has pledged that his Forza Italia party will be a "responsible opposition" to any new government headed by the Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi.

Berlusconi was among the political leaders who met Saturday with Italy's president, who is feeling out political leaders to determine if Renzi has enough support to form a new government after he sidelined outgoing Premier Enrico Letta, a rival Democrat.

Berlusconi, who remains influential despite his ban on holding political office, said he was concerned by the "opaque" power grab.

Renzi, 39, was waiting in Florence, where he is mayor, to be summoned by the president, if he finds there is enough support to form a government. That is not expected before Sunday.

A Renzi government would need to pass confidence votes in Parliament.