Berlusconi denies split within PDL

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has rejected reports on split within his centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, stressing that the political group is “united.”

“I see an absolutely united party with some internal differences,” Berlusconi said on Thursday, adding, “We now have personalities who see things differently faced with certain issues.”

This came after the reports that a number of PDL members had decided to quit the party and set up their own group.

On Wednesday, the Italian parliament gave vote of confidence to Italy™s Prime Minister Enrico Letta™s coalition government. The results of the vote showed out of 305 senators who participated, 235 senators were in favor of the government and 70 voted against with no abstentions.

Just before the voting, over 40 of PDL lawmakers said that they would vote in support of Letta™s coalition government which made Berlusconi decide to abandon his bid to topple the government.

On the eve of the vote, Berlusconi™s deputy and party secretary Angelino Alfano said PDL MPs should support Letta in the confidence vote.

œI am firmly convinced that our party as a whole should vote confidence in Letta,” said Alfano, who is also Italy’s interior minister.

The confidence vote came after Berlusconi ordered his five ministers on September 28 to resign from the government in a dispute over his fraud conviction.

Reports said that Letta has not accepted the resignations of five ministers from the PDL.

Berlusconi had earlier urged his party to vote against the motion of confidence in the government.

œDespite the risks, I have decided to put an end to the Letta government,” Berlusconi said in a letter to Tempi magazine published Tuesday, blaming Letta and Italian president for not protecting him from his legal problems.

The political instability in Italy comes at a time when the eurozone’s third-largest economy is struggling to meet a public deficit target of 2.9 percent for 2013, which is below the EU-mandated 3 percent.

The country is also suffering from a jobless rate of 12.2 percent, with youth unemployment also at its highest ever level of over 40 percent.

IA/HN/MHB

Copyright: Press TV