Saturday, February 18, 2006

Berlusconi Demands Minister's Resignation After Libyan Protests

``I may even be sorry for the victims, but what happened in Libya has nothing to do with my T-shirt,'' Calderoli said in la Repubblica. ``That's not what's at stake. What's at stake is Western civilization.''

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi asked Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli to resign late yesterday after a mob attacked an Italian consulate in Libya angered about the T-shirt worn by the minister on Feb. 14 depicting a Danish cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.

About 1,000 protesters staged two attacks on the consulate building in Benghazi, Libya, yesterday, the Italian foreign ministry said. While fire was set to the front of the building, the Libyan police stopped the protesters from harming the six Italian staff, according to the ministry. Eleven protesters were killed by police, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

``I respect all faiths and support dialogue between religions and civilizations,'' Berlusconi said in a statement published on the government's Web site early today. ``Senator Calderoli's position isn't that of the government and it's evidently incompatible with an institutional role, so he's invited to resign.'' Rest at


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