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Updated: June 21, 2011 18:21 IST

Berlusconi wins vote in parliament after losses

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Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. File photo: AP.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. File photo: AP.

The Italian premier won a confidence vote on Tuesday, his first test in parliament following two recent stinging electoral defeats and demands by his key coalition partner for an end to Italy’s involvement in the Libya military campaign.

Silvio Berlusconi’s forces won a vote on a development law 317—293 in the Chamber of Deputies and now face a similar vote in the Senate.

His allies expected him to win, although a showdown over issues including Libya may only be delayed.

Mr. Berlusconi’s forces suffered electoral setbacks in local voting last month, and voters in a referendum last week overturned laws passed by his government to revive nuclear energy, privatize the water supply and help him avoid prosecution.

In addition, Mr. Berlusconi’s key ally, the autonomy—minded Northern League, has insisted that Italy end its participation in NATO’s campaign in Libya, saying it will only send more refugees to Italy. The party is also demanding as a price of its continued support that Berlusconi relocate several ministries from Rome to the north.

Italian reports said Mr. Berlusconi had agreed to let the ministries have representational offices in the north, the power base of the Northern League.

Mr. Berlusconi is due to address the Senate later on Tuesday on the state of his government, and again on Wednesday in the Chamber.

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