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Berlusconi facing 'lame-duck' opposition taunts

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Berlusconi facing 'lame-duck' opposition taunts


Opposition voices in Italy are becoming increasingly vocal in calling Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a lame-duck leader after he survived a no-confidence motion, but only just.

He won by 316 votes to 301. Opponents immediately said the narrow margin called the government’s credibility into question.

The head of the opposition Italy of Values party, Antonio di Pietro, said: “Berlusconi has the numbers to remain in power but not to rule. The head of state had asked him to show that he is able to rule. Now with one vote of difference, in a situation like this where there are pawns in parliament offering their vote to the highest bidder, he is not going to do a single act for the nation. At most, he will introduce some measures he needs for the court cases he is involved in.”

Jean-Leonard Touadi, an MP from the opposition Democratic Party, said: “We have very huge, very huge amount of problems (sic), economical problems, problems of financial stability that we cannot afford with a government looking for a vote every day to pass these agreements. So I don’t think it is politically a success for Mr Berlusconi.”

Analysts predict another crisis in a matter of months, and an election a year early.

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