Rome, December 4 - The technocrat government led by Premier Mario Monti on Tuesday won a vote of confidence in the Senate, Italy's upper house, over a decree law aiming to curb local-government spending. It obtained the confidence of the assembly with 194 votes in favour, 58 against and 4 abstentions. The controversial measures, which include new provisions for the use of public funds by political parties, were introduced in the wake of a series of scandals involving the alleged misuse of public funds by regional government representatives on both sides of the political spectrum. The decree law must now return to the Chamber of Deputies for a new reading and vote of confidence following changes made during examination by the Senate. The provision must be converted into law before December 9, when the 60-day validity of the decree law expires.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello