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Berlusconi Uses Obscenity to Describe Opposition Voters


Italian opposition politicians are demanding Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologize for using an obscenity to refer to anyone who would vote against him in Sunday's election.

During a speech to a group of shopkeepers Tuesday, Mr. Berlusconi used a word regarded by many as an obscenity and by others as an insult.

He said using such language was rough but effective.

The remark came a day after Mr. Berlusconi traded insults in a political debate with his chief political rival, center-left leader Romano Prodi.

Both candidates assailed the other's fiscal policies, with Mr. Berlusconi calling Prodi a "useful idiot" and Prodi saying the prime minister is like a "drunkard clinging to a lamppost."

Voters go to the polls Sunday and Monday to choose a new government. Polls show many of the voters are undecided.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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