ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a confidence vote on Tuesday over a decree to speed up the recovery of unpaid debt, clearing the main parliamentary hurdle for the legislation aimed at helping the country's stricken financial system.
The decree aims to cut the time it will take Italy's banks to shift 360 billion euros ($399 billion) of bad loans that built up on their balance sheets during a three-year recession.
The lower house of parliament voted by 336 votes to 178 in the confidence vote, which the government is obliged to resign if it loses but has let Renzi speed up the passage of laws with little risk thanks to his healthy majority in the lower house.
Deputies will cast a final vote on the decree later on Tuesday or on Wednesday, as a parliamentary formality.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie)