Silvio Berlusconi has vowed to stay in office until the end of his term in 2013 after winning a confidence vote in parliament.
It is the embattled prime minister’s first big test since two embarrassing defeats at the ballot box.
Berlusconi said his government would continue to work to control public finances. His words come days after ratings agency Moody’s warned it may slash Italy’s credit rating over public debt concerns.
The former cruise ship crooner won the confidence vote by 24 votes. It may provide brief respite for Berlusconi, battered in his Milan heartland, beaten in four referendums and facing low approval ratings and nervous political allies.
Berlusconi must now push through austerity measures to the tune of 40 billion euros to wipe out the budget deficit by 2014, not so easy as the Northern League wants tax cuts implemented.