Government crisis: berlusconi party withdraws ministers

government crisis: berlusconi party withdraws ministers

Unstable italy: after only five months, enrico letta’s government is on the brink of collapse. The party of media mogul silvio berlusconi (77) has announced the resignation of its five ministers from the grand coalition. The government crisis with possible new elections is hitting the third-largest economy in the euro zone in the worst recession since the war. President giorgio napolitano still wants to avoid new elections, while berlusconi is aiming for a vote as soon as possible – and is confident of victory. He will only dissolve parliament if there is no other choice, napolitano said on sunday. Together with head of government letta, he wanted to further explore in the evening whether the legislative period can be continued despite this critical political phase.

The conditions for remaining in the alliance are no longer given, it was said on saturday in a declaration of the ministers of the right camp. In the next few days there will be a vote of confidence in parliament. Letta had already decided this step one day before the withdrawal announced by berlusconi’s ministers.

In the coalition between berlusconi’s pdl party (people of freedom) and the left-wing PD (democratic party) of prime minister enrico letta there have been considerable tensions for many weeks. One of the main reasons is the imminent expulsion of the convicted berlusconi from the senate. His party, however, cited a different motive for the withdrawal of the five ministers: the increase in the value-added tax in italy to 22 percent, which they had rejected.

"We cannot support a government that increases tax pressure on citizens," berlusconi said sunday of the retreat. He called for new elections as soon as possible, with all the polls predicting a victory for him. "I’m not tired of fighting, i’m in full form," says berlusconi, who turned 77 on sunday. He had won elections several times with tax promises.

After a government resignation, head of state giorgio napolitano could once again ask letta or another politician to find a new majority for a transitional government. He has always been strongly opposed to dissolving parliament and then calling new elections. Because with the current right to vote there could be a stalemate situation again like in february.

Letta had demanded a commitment to the government from the pdl and, after a crisis meeting on friday, announced his intention to put the question of confidence to parliament next week. He demands that berlusconi’s party make a public declaration in parliament, that is, before the burghers. Letta is in contact with the head of state, who has a key role to play in this phase. The government crisis in rome was allowed to provoke not least negative reactions of the financial markets against the EU problem child italy.

PD party leader guglielmo epifani called pdl announcement the last act before collapse. The two parties pdl and PD then blamed each other for the obvious failure of their rough coalition. Berlusconi’s opponents said that he had only started the government crisis so that the senate could not decide whether to expel him from the small chamber of parliament.

In the heated dispute over berlusconi’s political future, letta has announced a vote of confidence for tuesday or wednesday. Letta wants to know if he still has support for his policies in parliament after berlusconi deputies threaten to resign. Pdl parliamentarians had previously threatened a "mass resignation" if the convicted berlusconi were to appear at a meeting of the relevant senate committee on 4. October to be excluded.

The head of state had previously sharply criticized berlusconi’s party. It should not jeopardize the parliament’s ability to function in the midst of the economic crisis, napolitano said. It is absurd for berlusconi to call a verdict against him a "coup d’etat".

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