Berlusconi's PDL party pullout risks Italy's reforms
ROME — Concerns over the stability of the Italian government grew on Thursday as Silvio Berlusconi's party withdrew its support from Premier Mario Monti, threatening to bring a premature end to the administration's ambitious reforms program.
Expressing disappointment over Italy's stagnant economy, Berlusconi's center-right PDL party abstained from two confidence votes: one in the Senate and one in the lower Chamber of Deputies.
Although the government of unelected technocrats won both votes by a wide margin, investors were concerned that there could be a new period of political uncertainty because Monti had lost the support of Berlusconi's party, the largest bloc in Parliament.
Monti declined to weigh in on the political fray, telling a news conference that his government was ‘‘going ahead with its work.”
Monti was appointed to replace Berlusconi, who resigned last year when financial markets lost confidence in his ability to steer Italy through its worsening sovereign debt crisis.
Many credit the current prime minister with bringing back some market confidence in the country, pulling it back from the edge of financial disaster on which it was teetering last year.
‘‘There is the whiff of crisis,” political scientist Roberto D'Alimonte of Rome's LUISS University said on Sky TV 24. ‘‘We will see in the next hours.”
President Giorgio Napolitano in public comments acknowledged that the political climate was tensing, as campaigns gear up to elect a new government early next year when Monti's mandate expires. Napolitano could dissolve Parliament a few months earlier if he feels that the government no longer has wide support in Parliament. Even as financial markets dropped on news of the abstentions, Napolitano warned against a ‘‘precipitous” conclusion of Parliament as he takes the pulse of Italy's top political parties.
Berlusconi's top political aide and designated political heir, Angelino Alfano, insisted that the media mogul's party had no intention of sparking a crisis that could bring down the government.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Death toll from capsized Philippine ferry rises to 50
- Official: Iran agrees to early inspections start
- Kuwait mosque bomber slipped security watch in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain
- Egyptian president plans tougher legal system in speech at burial of prosecutor
- Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 53
- Kuwait holds mass funeral for victims of Shiite mosque suicide bombing
- Car bomb blast kills Egypt’s top prosecutor Barakat
- Egyptian security outposts attacked
- Scores die in Boko Haram attacks on Nigeria mosques
- 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars worth 40 cents
- Allentown firm ups security at Western Pa. facilities after France attack