Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has decided to return to the centre of the political stage, striking a reform deal with a centre-left rival.
Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was thrown out of parliament in 2013 after a tax fraud conviction.
The former prime minister still heads the opposition Forza Italia party and held lengthy talks with Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi late on Saturday.
Under their agreement, Silvio Berlusconi will back electoral and constitutional proposals aimed at making Italy more governable.
The current electoral system has left Italy with a series of shaky coalitions.
Last year’s general election left no party strong enough to govern alone, until a broad coalition emerged, headed by Enrico Letta of the PD.
Silvio Berlusconi was initially part of the government but later pulled out. Several key former allies abandoned him to form the New Centre Right party while he became a more marginalized figure.
But he remained head of Italy’s biggest opposition faction, Forza Italia.
Matteo Renzi’s talks with the former centre-right prime minister have divided the coalition, and the PD in particular.
His car was hit with an egg and he was booed as he arrived at PD headquarters.
After the talks Silvio Berlusconi said the deal would “consolidate the biggest parties and simplify the political system”.
Matteo Renzi said the two leaders had backed a law that “favors governability and a bi-polar system, and eliminates the blackmail power of the smallest parties”.
Silvio Berlusconi is keen to make a political comeback despite his fraud conviction and a separate conviction for paying an underage prostitute. He is appealing against a seven-year jail term.
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