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Italian government crisis deepens

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Italian government crisis deepens

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The crisis at the heart of the Italian Pime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government is taking on an international dimension ahead of key meetings of the leading industrialised nations.

Italy’s central bank governor, Antonio Fazio, has flown to Washington for the G7 and International Monetary Fund meetings, despite Berlusconi’s call for him to stand down. It came just hours after Berlusconi named Giulio Tremonti as economy minister. His predecessor had resigned over the Fazio affair, and the coalition’s internal disputes. Fazio has denied allegations he favoured Italian lenders in cross-border takeover battles for Italian banks. Tremonti has been a fierce critic of Fazio but now both men will represent Italy at the meetings in Washington.