Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing a confidence vote in parliament, a ballot he has called and one he says he is confident of winning.
It is nothing new for his government, under pressure over its handling of the country’s economic problems. There have been 50 other similar votes since 2008.
“The institutions defend themselves with seriousness and responsibility and not by making the country waste its time,” Berlusconi said during a speech to parliament about the ballot.
“I thank you and I invite you to vote for the government.”
Berlusconi’s speech was boycotted by opposition MPs. ‘Pathetic’ was how one critic in parliament described his words.
There have been protests over the way the government is dealing with Italy’s economic crisis.
“We are on the eve of a social revolt, as the demonstrators are showing,” said Antonio Di Pietro, Italy of Values party leader.
“Before there is any violence, someone needs to show a sense of responsibility and let it be seen before it is too late.”
Berlusconi pushed for the confidence ballot after his government lost a parliamentary vote on the country’s budget earlier this week. He has reportedly told his dissenters that, without him, none of them have a future.