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Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Berlusconi lays out big plans
Silvio Berlusconi (left) poses for cameras before voting in Italian elections, 13 May 2001
Mr Berlusconi gave his first interview as leader
By Colin Blane in Rome

Italy's new leader, Silvio Berlusconi, has promised his government will work for all Italians.

In his first televised address since voting ended, he said everyone should put the divisive election campaign behind them.

Everybody is tired of too many election rallies, too many speeches, too much politics, of the divisive campaign of hatred which we had to face

Silvio Berlusconi
He looked forward to modernising Italy's laws, roads and institutions.

Mr Berlusconi's first interview since the election gave a glimpse of the scope of his ambition.

He told Rai Uno TV that he and his allies had spent the last five years preparing for their return to power.

First meeting

He said already drawn up the agenda for his opening cabinet meeting.

"It starts with fulfilling a promise that we made throughout these long years of opposition, which is to cut to zero the tax on donations and death duties," he said.

"Then we will immediately create a [school] reform which is broadly approved by teachers, families and students," he said.

Initial targets
Eliminate death duties and tax on donations
School reform
New system of tenders for public works
More police
"We will approve a bill to change the entire system of public tendering, to allow us to finally launch all those great public works which we have been missing for years."

He rounded out his plans for his first cabinet meeting with a promise to call for more local policemen.

Call for unity

He said his message was also aimed at voters who had not supported his alliance and he reflected on the divisive election where there'd been "too many election rallies, too many speeches and too much politics".

With an eye to critics who had questioned his commitment to the European Union, he said he was proud to be part of Europe.

Mr Berlusconi has shrugged off allegations of corruption and has ignored criticism about the conflict between his political and business interests.

Now he has big plans for his country during his time in office.

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See also:

14 May 01 | Europe
Temperatures rise in chaotic poll
11 May 01 | Media reports
'Life is not beautiful' if Berlusconi wins
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