MILAN - Silvio Berlusconi is prepared to step aside as a candidate in next year's parliamentary election if that is what is needed to create a united front against the left, Libero newspaper quoted the former prime minister as saying.

"I want unity in the moderate wing and to get it, if necessary, I am ready not to stand as a candidate," Berlusconi said, according to Libero.

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On Monday the secretary of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party Angelino Alfano said Berlusconi may drop plans to stand in next year's election if necessary.