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December 5, 2022

Italian Gov’t fails to win parliamentary vote on 2010 budget

ROME – Silvio Berlusconi’s increasingly beleaguered government is again in crisis after losing a crucial vote in parliament, The Guardian informs.

Amid speculation about a possible plot to bring down Italy’s 75 year-old prime minister and his shaky rightwing coalition, officials said the government would seek a vote of confidence later this week to stay in office. Berlusconi’s chief ally, Umberto Bossi, the leader of the Northern League, said: “I don’t know how long it will last.”

On Tuesday night, the government failed by two votes to secure approval for the 2010 outturn public accounts. Minutes later, a visibly furious Berlusconi swept out of the chamber of deputies, the lower house, to opposition cries of “resign!” Commentators said there was no precedent for such a defeat in the 65-year history of the Italian republic. But on both previous occasions when governments had got into parliamentary difficulties over the public accounts, it had ended with the resignation of prime ministers. What made Tuesday’s defeat all the more embarrassing was that neither Bossi nor the finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, took part in the division. Bossi was chatting to journalists in the lobby while Tremonti was racing back from a funeral.

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