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Italy: Berlusconi's allies defy him - plan to back government

Italy: Berlusconi's allies defy him - plan to back government
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Angelino Alfano – Silvio Berlusconi’s deputy in the People of Freedom (PDL) and one-time protégé – has urged the party to unite behind the government.

Dozens of senior PDL members reportedly support Alfano’s view – in defiance of Berlusconi’s position, which has been to threaten to topple the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Letta is trying to shore up support for a confidence vote in parliament on October 2.

Alfano said: “I am fully convinced that our party as a whole should vote confidence in Letta tomorrow.”

It followed similar calls from other PDL politicians. Senator Carlo Giovanardi told reporters that he was among a group of lawmakers “determined to keep the government in place”.

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