Berlusconi survives parliamentary test
Thursday 05 August 2010
Premier Silvio Berlusconi yesterday survived his first test in parliament since the break-up with a powerful ally, a victory that leaves his conservative government safely in place at least until after the summer.
But the vote also exposed the erosion of Mr Berlusconi's majority after the split with longtime ally Gianfranco Fini, possibly giving the Italian leader a taste of troubles to come after the holiday break.
Mr Berlusconi's lawmakers defeated an opposition censure motion against a government official implicated in a corruption scandal. The 299-229 vote was parliament's last political significant act until September. It was seen as a test of strength for Mr Berlusconi.
"This is a signal that we're staying on and that there is no election now," said Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League government party and, at this point, Mr Berlusconi's staunchest partner.
Lawmakers loyal to Mr Fini abstained from the voting. Mr Fini's 33 deputies formed their own breakaway parliamentary group in the wake of the break-up, potentially depriving Mr Berlusconi's coalition of a majority in the lower house. Yesterday's decision to abstain kept Mr Berlusconi afloat but also showed that the premier's grip is loosening and gave a measure of Mr Fini's clout.
Mr Fini's lawmakers sided with a group of centrist and moderate deputies, bringing the number of abstentions to 75.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...