Italy Crisis: PM Letta Wins Vote After Berlusconi U-Turn
Italian Premier Enrico Letta has won a confidence vote after a last-minute U-turn by former PM Silvio Berlusconi.
Berlusconi had initially promised to topple the government by withdrawing his party’s support - a move which prompted the Senate vote.
But he backed down when it became clear that several of his senators would back the government.
Mr Letta had earlier said that if he were defeated in the vote, it might prove a “fatal risk” for Italy.
In the event he won easily: the Senate voted 235 to 70 in favour of the government.
Some of Berlusconi’s most hardline followers left the chamber and did not vote at all.
The result of the vote increases the possibility of Berlusconi being thrown out of the Senate on the grounds he is a convicted criminal.