Italian Premier Berlusconi wins key confident vote

11:39, 22 June 2011
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Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi...

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday won a key confident vote on economic stimulus measures in the Lower House, according to Xinhua.

According to local news agency Ansa, this is Berlusconi`s first major test in parliament after he suffered serious setbacks in local elections and four national referendums.

The final result of the vote is 317 yes, 293 no and 2 abstentions. Berlusconi won by a margin of 24 votes. Angelino Alfano, justice minister and newly appointed Secretary of Berlusconi`s People of Freedom Party, said that these are the numbers of an absolute majority to the ruling coalition.

After winning the vote, Berlusconi made a speech in the Senate, where he warned that a change of government now would be a disaster for the country and its financial security.

"Completing the legislative program and getting (the country`s) accounts in order is in the interest of all Italians", he said. "We will avoid ending up like other European countries that are bleeding. I take credit for protecting Italy`s public debt and it would be mad to put everything up for discussion in an uncertain economic crisis."

In the meantime, local media believed that Berlusconi, whose approval fell to a new low of 29 percent in a June poll, is facing further pressure from his key partner in the ruling coalition, the North League

The North League is demanding tax cuts, an end to military action in Libya and other policy changes amid weak economic recovery. The North League is also asking for transferring several government ministries from Rome to the north of Italy where the party is based.

However, the government accepted an amendment of the opposition Democratic Party on Tuesday to reject the transfer of government ministries from Rome to the north.

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