Berlusconi wins confidence vote

Silvio Berlusconi overcame coalition infighting to win a vote of confidence yesterday, his first parliamentary test since suffering two stinging electoral losses.

The Italian Prime Minister's centre-right government won the lower house vote on measures to boost growth by a margin of 24 votes, thanks to its Northern League ally, which is reluctantly supporting the coalition.

The victory is likely to provide only a brief respite for Mr Berlusconi, who faces plummeting approval ratings, a faltering economy and a number of court cases against him.