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    • barganews The grass roots movement that has gradually been growing in Italy recently to force Silvio Berlusconi to resign came to Barga this morning with a stand organised by the local Partito Democratico di Barga collecting signatures for a petition demanding the resignation of the Premier Silvio Berlusconi following allegations he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl and used his office to cover it up. The 74-year-old Berlusconi has rejected such calls and insisted again Saturday that early elections would do "grave damage" to the country as it tries to emerge from the recession. The premier has denied he paid for sex and accused prosecutors of seeking to drive him from office. Despite the wet weather, the stand was well attended this morning with hundreds of signatures already on the list by midday. In attendance were the Senatore Andrea Marcucci, l'Onorevole Raffaella Mariani, i Consiglieri Regionali Ardelio Pellegrinotti and Marco Remaschi, il Sindaco di Barga Marco Bonini and many other local politicians and councillors. The campaign to oust Berlusconi from power got a boost recently with a conference in the Milan sports stadium with some of Italy's notable left-leaning intellectuals, including Umberto Eco and anti-mafia author Roberto Saviano, as well as union leaders and others, addressing the crowd. Organizers said more than 100,000 people had signed a petition calling for Berlusconi to resign. [nggallery id=906] Also present on the stand was a chair from the very successful art exhibition held in this area last year called CHAIRART. This chair featured a face which many people took to be a caricature of Berlusconi. Although popular with many of the people signing the petition, very few actually wanted to sit on the chair. Senatore Andrea Marcucci for instance claiming that the teeth gave him reason enough not to sit. On a more serious note, listen to the interview that he gave barganews this morning as he talks about democracy in action and what many people feel is the national shame felt in Italy concerning the events of the past few months.