PD says govt has lost majority, Monti must consult president

Berlusconi's PdL deserts confidence vote

PD says govt has lost majority, Monti must consult president

(see related stories) Rome, December 6 - The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said Thursday that Premier Mario Monti must consult with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano as his emergency technocrat government has effectively lost its majority in parliament. The call came after ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party announced it was deserting a confidence vote in the Senate on a government economic-development bill. "If the government no longer has a majority, I think Monti should go to (see Napolitano at) the Quirinal Palace," said Anna Finocchiaro, the PD's Senate whip. The government won the confidence vote as it was backed by the other parties supporting Monti's government, including the PD and the centrist UDC, and the PdL, the biggest group in parliament, did jot actively vote against it. If Monti's government had lost the vote it would have been forced to step down. "There is a political problem of enormous importance," Finocchiaro said shortly before the confidence vote took place. "Today the government will have numbers (of supporters in parliament) that do not respect the Senate majority".

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