Italy PM Letta wins confidence vote in Senate

ROME Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:09pm EST

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ROME Dec 11 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday, confirming his parliamentary majority after the withdrawal of a coalition partner last month.

Lawmakers backed the government by 173 to 127. Letta, head of a coalition between the centre-left Democratic Party and smaller centrist and centre-right groups, asked parliament to back a broad programme of reforms which he said would lift Italy's stagnant economy after two years of recession.

The Senate vote followed his comfortable victory in a Chamber of Deputies confidence motion earlier on Wednesday.

Letta called the votes to confirm his majority after Silvio Berlusconi, now banned from parliament, ended seven months of cooperation with the centre-left by pulling his Forza Italia party out of the coalition.

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