Berlo seeks confidence vote

Berlo seeks confidence vote

Under pressure over corruption and sex scandals and facing criticism for his centre-right government’s erratic handling of the economic crisis, Berlusconi has accused the left-wing opposition of “obsessively” seeking to drive him from office.

In an address to parliament, he said there was no viable alternative to his government and that if it fell now, the only alternative would be early elections. “A government crisis now would be a victory for those who want to see (Italy) fall into decline, catastrophe and the kind of speculation we have seen for months in Europe and Italy,” Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi, under pressure by the president as well as the central bank governor to prove he can deal with the nation’s myriad social and economic problems, said he was confident that he would win the vote, which is due to be held on Friday.

Berlusconi said his coalition was united despite occasional “accidents” such as a loss of a key parliamentary vote on Tuesday that triggered the latest crisis in his coalition and repeated a vow to balance the budget by 2013.

Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League ally in the coalition, said Berlusconi was “convincing” and predicted the government would win the vote. Analysts say even if Berlusconi wins, it will be only a matter of months before a new crisis hits and that the country will likely hold early elections next year, a year before they are scheduled.

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