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Italy's Berlusconi says was forced from office by EU 'plot'

Published on May 14, 2014 6:00 PM

ROME (REUTERS) - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi repeated accusations on Wednesday that he was forced out of office at the height of the euro zone crisis in 2011 as the result of a "plot" by European Union officials.

Berlusconi's comments followed the publication in Italy of extracts from a new book by former US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner which suggested that EU officials had approached the US government with a project to force Berlusconi to resign. "They wanted us to refuse to back IMF loans to Italy as long as he refused to go," Geithner's book "Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises," was quoted as saying by daily La Stampa.

Geithner said the United States rejected the approach, saying "We can't have his blood on our hands".

Berlusconi, currently serving a community service order after being convicted of tax fraud last year, said the book showed there had been a "clear violation of democratic rules and an attack on the sovereignty of our country". "The plot is an extremely serious piece of news which confirms what I've been saying for some time," he told Rai state television in an interview.

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