Italy’s justice minister resigned after corruption allegations were levelled at his politician wife but it now turns out that he, too, is under investigation in the same affair.
However Clemente Mastella’s party has assured the prime minister it will continue to support his fragile coalition, averting a government collapse.
He said the charges are part of a plot to discredit him: “I’m throwing in the towel since my family, my loved ones, my wife have come under fire. For the first time I have to admit, I am scared,” he said.
Although Mastella’s small party only controls three seats in the upper house Senate, Romano Prodi’s majority there is just two.
The prime minister refused to accept Mastella’s resignation. Leaving himself room for manoeuvre, the former justice minister said he had to look after his wife and other decisions would be made later.