Rome

Destabilized government would cause 'irreparable damage'

President Napolitano says continuity imperative for Italy

Destabilized government would cause 'irreparable damage'

Rome, July 18 - If Premier Enrico Letta's coalition government is destabilized the "damage would be irreparable," President Giorgio Napolitano said on Thursday. "If the continuity of this government is jeopardized, we will feel the repercussions in international relations and financial markets," Napolitano said. The Italian head of State warned against "pulling the plug" on the government, which would leave the country "in a void". Letta's left-right coalition is under threat from policy differences within his administration and a scandal involving a Kazakh dissident whose family was deported from Italy, sparking a rising call for the Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to resign. There are also threats that the government's junior partner, the People of Freedom (PdL) party, will pull its support and topple the government if its leader Silvio Berlusconi's recent tax-fraud conviction is upheld, barring him from holding office. Alfano is also the secretary of the PdL.

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