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February 26, 2021

Silvio Berlusconi wins Italy confidence vote

Rome – Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has won a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament, BBC News said. He won by a margin of three votes, following a tense session of the house and amid large protests in the capital.

Berlusconi also won an earlier vote in the Senate. He had urged MPs not to jeopardise the country’s stability by ousting him. His critics argue he is too mired in personal scandal and corruption allegations to remain in office.

Mr Berlusconi, 74, is halfway through a five-year term but his position has been weakened by a series of scandals largely involving his relationships with women. He has also lost the support of his closest political ally, Gianfranco Fini, along with dozens of his supporters, depriving him of his automatic majority in the lower house. But in the final vote, two opposition deputies switched sides and he won the vote by 314 votes to 311.
Thousands of people have gathered in Rome and Italy’s other major cities to demand a change in government. Police have fired tear gas on the protesters in Rome and several explosions – thought to be fireworks – have been heard. The protesters threw eggs, paint and stones at the Senate building. In the Sicilian regional capital, Palermo, 500 students occupied the main airport runway.

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