Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has been forced to make a dramatic denial that he colluded with the Mafia after rumours that have swirled for days about his alleged links with Cosa Nostra chiefs in the early 1990s exploded on to the front pages of Italian newspapers.
The conservative prime minister told political supporters in Sardinia at the weekend that allegations printed in several papers that his business empire benefited financially from close links with Cosa Nostra were “unfounded and insulting”.
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