May 24, 2018 / 10:25 AM / 9 months ago

Berlusconi says Forza Italia will vote against government

FILE PHOTO: Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi leaves after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella during the second day of consultations at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday his Forza Italia party would vote against the coalition government of the 5-Star Movement and League in a parliamentary confidence motion expected next week.

Forza Italia was allied with the far-right League in an inconclusive March national election. Berlusconi gave his blessing to his ally to hold talks with 5-Star earlier this month after all other political options appeared blocked.

However, Berlusconi said in a statement that the program drawn up by the two parties was “a naive book of dreams”. He added: “We can do no other than confirm our decision to vote no in the confidence motion and be in opposition...”

Forza Italia’s votes are not necessary for the 5-Star/League coalition to obtain a majority in parliament.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer

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