Berlusconi accused of buying MPs' votes

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The Independent Online

Italian prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations that the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is buying support in parliament ahead of a crucial confidence vote next week.

The billionaire media tycoon faces votes in both houses of parliament on 14 December. A defeat would force him to resign. Centre-left politicians have accused Berlusconi of bribing lawmakers to buy their support after some opposition MPs said they would back Berlusconi or abstain. "Money, favours and other stuff is being offered; this is an issue for the judiciary," said Luigi De Magistris, from the centre-left Italy of Values Party.