Italian ex-premier Renzi seeks to create new center-right

MILAN (AP) — Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is appealing to disillusioned members of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s party to join forces.

Renzi made his appeal Sunday, a day after Berlusconi and his much-weakened Forza Italia party appeared marginalized at a right-wing rally led by Matteo Salvini of the populist League.

While Berlusconi’s party is losing popularity, a post-fascist party, the Brothers of Italy, is pulling the conservative movement further to the right.

Renzi said the rally in Rome “ended the cultural model of the center-right. … Yesterday Salvini took the reins and I understand the discomfort of the managers and rank-and-file of Forza Italia.”

Renzi split from the Democratic Party after supporting the formation of the new government with the 5-Star Movement to create his own “Italia viva” party.

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