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Berlusconi dives into politics

ROME — Media magnate Silvio Berlusconi will formally enter Italian politics Wednesday at the head of the conservative Forza Italia (Go Italy) movement, his Canale 5 television network reported Tuesday.

Reported resignation

Its main evening news broadcast said the 57-year-old entrepreneur would resign as chairman of his media empire, Fininvest, to concentrate on campaigning for the March general election.

“Berlusconi has decided. Tomorrow he will formally announce his decision to enter the fray with Forza Italia,” the news announcer said. State television carried a similar report.

King of empire

Berlusconi, whose empire includes three national TV networks, a publishing house, soccer champions AC Milan and department store chain Standa, has been threatening for weeks to enter politics to stop the left from winning in March.

He said Monday he had lost faith in efforts by the splintered forces of the political center and right to form an effective electoral pact to challenge the left.

Leftist leanings

Latest opinion polls for the March 27-28 election give a leftist alliance led by the ex-communist Democratic Party of the Left around 40% of votes.

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