Italian government wins senate confidence vote on 2014 budget

ROME (REUTERS) - The Italian government won a late-night Senate confidence vote on the 2014 budget, surviving after Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party broke with the ruling coalition on the eve of a vote to expel him from parliament over a tax fraud conviction.

A comfortable majority of voted in support of Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition, bolstered by a group of centre-right rebels who split with Berlusconi to back the government.

In all 171 senators sided with the government with 135 against.

The vote was on a first reading of the so-called Stability Law, which requires further approval before it becomes law.