Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MPs give Berlusconi lift after losses

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Source: Press TV

The government of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has won a confidence vote on a bill widely seen as a test of the stability of his coalition।

The bill, adopted by 317 votes to 293 in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday, includes tax breaks and investment incentives।

"These are the numbers of an absolute majority," said Justice Minister Angelino Alfano, who has just been named the new secretary of Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party.

"We are satisfied with the umpteenth indication of our consistency that shows our strength," he added.

Berlusconi told lawmakers after winning the confidence vote that his government should remain in power until its five-year term ends in 2013 to "avoid ending up like other European countries which are bleeding."

The victory in the confidence vote will give Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party a slight boost after the embattled premier suffered defeats in crucial local elections and a round of referendums in less than a month.

Among other things, the referendums would have approved a legal immunity law designed to keep Berlusconi out of court.

Over the years, the 74-year-old has faced a plethora of allegations of criminal activity, including mafia involvement, corruption, and bribery of police officers, lawyers, and judges

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