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Maltese government falls as budget is rejected

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Maltese government falls as budget is rejected

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Malta’s centre-right government has collapsed after its budget was thrown out by parliament.

Franco Debono, a member of the island’s government, joined the opposition in voting against the budget.

Debono has been a fierce critic of his own party, particularly over its decisions to hand the running of the bus system to a German company.

The ruling Party of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had a one-seat majority in the parliament.

Opinion polls show it trailing the opposition Labour party by nine points

An election is expected to be held in March.