Wednesday May 16th, 2001
Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Italian carmaker and Formula One team Ferrari, said on Tuesday he had declined to become a minister in the next government of centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi.
Speaking from Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello, Montezemolo said he had ruled himself out of contention for a ministerial post due to other commitments.
"Today, I spoke with Silvio Berlusconi and I informed him of all the heartfelt requests coming first and foremost from the people at Ferrari and from so many of its supporters, as well as the invitation from a major part of the media who have proposed that I should make myself available to lead the Editors Federation, as my name was today put forward by the Presidential Committee of the FIEG," Montezemolo said.
"Silvio Berlusconi has understood and appreciated the relevance of such reasons, which mean I am unable to follow up the intention of being part of his government."
Berlusconi, who won Sunday's general election, said last week he expected Montezemolo to play a role in his administration.