ROME Dec 6 The centre-right party of former
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will abstain in a
confidence vote in the lower house of parliament on Thursday, a
party official said, heightening the risk of a government
The head of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party said
earlier that President Giorgio Napolitano would have to decide
whether to call an election if the centre-right withheld its
support from the government.
"As a parliamentary group we have decided to abstain this
afternoon in the vote of confidence called by the government to
show our strongly critical view of their economic policies,"
Fabrizio Cicchitto, the lower house leader of Berlusconi's
People of Liberty (PDL) party, said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday the PDL walked out of a confidence vote
in the Senate after Industry Minister Corrado Passera expressed
strong reservations about a return of Berlusconi, who left
office in a cloud of scandal at the height of the eurozone
crisis last year.