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Silvio Berlusconi’s party has threatened to bring down the Italian government if he is expelled from parliament over his tax fraud conviction.
Relations between Berlusconi’s PDL party and Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party (PD)are tense ahead of a Senate vote on whether to expel the billionaire.
A top PD official accused the PDL of “blackmail” after several of its members threatened to bring down the government if the PD voted to expel Berlusconi.
Meanwhile, Letta is trying to push on with reforms to spur growth and fight record levels of unemployment despite deep divisions in his coalition.
Domenico Megna, a pensioner from Rome told euronews: “He should go to prison. Criminals like him need to be kept out of political life. He should go to prison for 30 years. He stole from 60 million Italians.”
Rome Resident Michelle Orlando said: “ This is yet another example of how Berlusconi does what is good for him and not for Italy”.
The coalition partners are also arguing over an unpopular housing tax reform which will be decided on Wednesday. The PDL has threatened to bring down the government if the reform is not abolished.