Italian Government Loses Parliamentary Vote on 2010 Budget
Italy’s Parliament failed to approve the government’s 2010 budget in an “unprecedented” vote that raised questions about the strength of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s majority, with the opposition urging him to resign.
The government was unable to obtain a majority of votes on the 2010 final budget in the lower house in Rome today, following its approval earlier by the Senate. Gianfranco Fini, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, said the ballot was an “unprecedented case,” Ansa newswire reported, as the budget is simply a record of spending and revenue that can’t be changed.
Fini, in remarks broadcast on the Chamber’s television channel, called another lower-house session for 1 p.m. in Rome tomorrow when the issue may be revisited. Economy Ministry Undersecretary Alberto Giorgetti said the government will find a “technical solution,” Radiocor newswire reported.
Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti held talks with Berlusconi after the vote, Ansa newswire said. The government, with a slim majority in the Chamber, has previously lost ballots there even as it’s won every confidence vote that it’s faced since coming to power in 2008.
Fabrizio Cicchitto, who heads Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party in the lower house, told reporters in Rome that the government may have to hold a vote in the Chamber to “verify” whether it still has a ruling majority, Ansa said.
Opposition leaders including Anna Finocchiaro, who heads the Democratic Party in the Senate, called on the government to resign. “With the failure to pass Article 1 of the general state budget, the very preconditions for public-finance accounting no longer exist,” Finocchiaro said in an e-mailed statement.
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