Unexpected message from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

ROME (AFP) 09/09/2011
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Friday that ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was loved by his people and that the rebellion that toppled him wasn’t a popular uprising.
“This wasn’t a popular uprising,” like in other north African countries “where the wind of freedom begins to blow,” he told young supporters of his People of Freedom party gathered in Rome .
“Powerful men decided to give life to a new era by putting out Gadhafi,” he said.
“This wasn’t a popular uprising because Gadhafi was loved by his people, as I was able to see when I went to Libya .”
Italy is Libya’s former colonial ruler and enjoyed close economic and diplomatic ties with the Gadhafi regime prior to the conflict before joining international efforts against the leader.
He told party supporters that strengthening the country’s position in Libya was “important for oil and gas supplies.”
Eni SpA (E), in which the Italian state holds a third share, was previously the main foreign hydrocarbon producer operating in Libya .
In order to maintain that situation Rome recently signed a deal with the new Libyan authorities.

Source: http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2011/09/09/97001-20110909FILWWW00609-libye-pas-un-soulevement-populaire.php
(use google to translate from French)

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