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August 13, 2009

Earthquake victim wants shelter from PM

An Italian man who has been homeless since the Abruzzo earthquake in April said Thursday he believes Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should take him in.

Antonio Bernardini, 53, who lived first in a temporary camp and then in a hotel, told the Italian news agency ANSA he would be willing to accept temporary shelter in either Berlusconi's villa on Sardinia or his Roman palazzo. Bernardini, who lived in the center of L'Aquila, said he would be willing to provide advice on reconstruction of the historic town in exchange.

''This isn't a challenge. It's a legitimate request,'' Bernardini said. ''The premier had publicly pledged to provide hospitality in his homes for the homeless.''

Berlusconi told reporters Monday during a visit to L'Aquila that he was willing to join the many Italians who have offered to house those displaced during the earthquake. The prime minister, who also owns two large houses outside Milan, did not say specifically where he was offering accommodation.