Berlusconi's ministers resign from Italy govt: deputy PM
ROME (REUTERS) - Italian centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi pulled his ministers out of the ruling coalition on Saturday, effectively bringing down the government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta and leaving Europe’s third largest economy in chaos.
The announcement, which will likely lead either to new elections or the formation of a new coalition, came a day after PM Letta challenged Mr Berlusconi’s party to support him in a confidence vote in parliament following weeks of tension.
Late on Friday, the cabinet failed to agree vital fiscal measures to bring the budget deficit within European Union limits, leaving the fragile coalition of traditional rivals from the left and right near total breakdown.
Tensions between the two sides had been rising for weeks following moves to expel Mr Berlusconi from parliament after his conviction for tax fraud last month.