Cabinet holds snap meeting amid threats to topple govt

IMU at center of talks, sources say

Cabinet holds snap meeting amid threats to topple govt

(see related) Rome, August 26 - Premier Enrico Letta called a snap meeting Monday with core members of his fragile coalition government amid concerns of a government collapse surrounding ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's possible ouster from the Senate. Joining Letta were Deputy Premier Angelino Alfano, the No.2 in Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom party, as well as Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni and Regional Affairs Minister Graziano Delrio. Government sources said the meeting is centered around the controversial IMU property tax, which the cabinet is scheduled to rule on once and for all on Wednesday. The PdL upped threats Monday to topple the government if it does not roll back the tax on primary residences, a major campaign promise of Berlusconi during February elections. The threat has added to concerns of a government meltdown surrounding a vote in the Senate next month to strip Berlusconi of his seat in the Upper House following his first-ever binding conviction on August 1 for tax fraud. The PdL says it will pull out of the government and force new elections if members of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) vote to ratify the office ban.

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