Berlusconi speech ahead of vote

Berlusconi speech ahead of vote

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Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi after delivering his message at the Senate in Rome (AP)

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has said political stability is necessary in the midst of an economic crisis in a speech to Parliament ahead of crucial confidence votes.

The Italian leader told the Senate on Monday that it would be “folly” to create a political crisis in the current situation and appealed to politicians to be “politically responsible” and renew confidence in his government.

Mr Berlusconi faces votes in both houses of Parliament after a dramatic fallout with his former closest ally. He risks more in the lower house, where the split potentially deprives him of a majority. That vote on Tuesday is expected to go down to the wire.

Mr Berlusconi has been trying to persuade undecided politicians, drawing accusations of vote-buying.

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