Berlusconi to Run For the European Parliament ElectionsEU | January 18, 2019, Friday // 10:15| views
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will run in the European Parliament election in May, he announced Thursday.
“At my lovely age, I’ve decided out of a sense of responsibility to head for Europe where there is a lack of deep thinking about the world," said Berlusconi, 82, in Sardinia on the first stop of his campaign tour, POLITICO EU reported.
"With my knowledge, my experience and my ability to convince, I can play an important role and make European citizens understand that we risk moving away from Western values," Berlusconi added, according to EuroNews.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, a member of Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, welcomed the announcement on Twitter.
"Excellent news of Berlusconi's candidature for the European elections! I was sure that he would run again to defend the freedom and right of citizens to get a job and not to be harassed by unfair taxes!" Tajani tweeted.
An Italian court in May last year lifted a ban on Berlusconi holding public office, which had been imposed in 2013 after he received a four-year sentence for tax fraud, though he never spent time in prison.
Berlusconi on Thursday also hit out at the ruling anti-establishment 5Star Movement, which governs with the anti-migration League party, calling their coalition "unnatural."
"We need to change this government that includes the 5Stars, which is led by people who have no experience and no competence," he said, comparing the government to "the gentlemen of the communist left of 1994."