EU parliament head condemns attack on Berlusconi
EU parliament president Jerzy Buzek on Monday strongly condemned the assault on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, stressing that violence had no place in politics.
Strasbourg--"This incident deserves very strong condemnation and should never have taken place," Buzek said in opening remarks at the start of the parliament's monthly plenary session in Strasbourg.
"Politics cannot be carried out that way, the Polish parliamentary president added, wishing Berlusconi a swift recovery from his facial injuries and offering the "solidarity of all the deputies."
Doctors on Monday ordered Berlusconi to spend a second night in hospital after the attack that left him with a broken nose and two teeth knocked out.
His assailant, who has a history of mental illness, threw a replica of Milan's iconic gothic cathedral at the prime minister after a political rally in the northern city on Sunday.
Italian Socialist MEP Gianni Pittella, a political opponent of Berlusconi, also condemned Sunday's attack.
"We are opponents of Mr Berlusconi, but political opponents," he stressed.
The centre-right European People's Party (EPP), which includes Berlusconi's Popolo della Liberta (People of Freedom) party in its ranks, also deplored the attack on the Italian premier.
"The attack against Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is deplorable and on behalf of the European People's Party I wholly condemn it; such acts of political violence have no place in the Europe of the 21st century," said EPP president Wilfried Martens in a statement.
"The EPP and I wish Silvio Berlusconi a speedy recovery," he added, expressing his "outrage at the attack."