Italian PM faces vote of confidence

File photo shows Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta (R) next to Interior Minister Angelino Alfano during a vote session at the Senate in Rome.

Italy’s parliament is holding a vote of confidence in the country™s governing coalition as the European nation is grappling with a political crisis.

The Wednseday parliamentary confidence vote was called after former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi ordered ministers in his centre-right People of Freedom party (PDL) to leave the government.

On September 28, all Italian ministers from Berlusconi’s party resigned en masse in protest at the government™s order to increase sales tax.

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.

However, later on 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.

Meanwhile, Carlo Giovanardi, a senator from Berlusconi’s party, said 40 PDL senators are prepared to vote for the government, adding, œWe want to remain a moderate force.”

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

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.

MR/PR

Copyright: Press TV