Berlusconi to vote against government in confidence vote: source

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 26, 2013 9:24 AM
Berlusconi to vote against government in confidence vote: source

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi will vote against the government in a confidence vote over the 2014 budget law and will announce its break from the ruling coalition later on Tuesday, a source in his Forza Italia party said.

Berlusconi has supported the government since it was formed in April but has threatened to withdraw his support if the Senate votes this week to expel him from parliament over a conviction for tax fraud.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government, which has been boosted by rebels from Berlusconi's party and which is expected to win the vote, will present an amendment to the budget later in the afternoon, and the vote is expected in the evening.

According to his spokesman, Luca D'Alessandro, Berlusconi told Forza Italia lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that the party would vote against the government unless changes were made to the budget. The party source said the decision had been taken to break with the government.

"Forza Italia will announce that it is leaving the coalition this afternoon," the source said.

(Reporting by Paolo Biondi. Writing by Steve Scherer.)