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FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
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Italian government passes 1st confidence vote
Associated Press
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (2nd row R) smiles beside his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu at the family photo during a meeting at Villa Madama in Rome December 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (2nd row R) smiles beside his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu at the family photo during a meeting at Villa Madama in Rome December 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)
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ROME: Premier Enrico Letta's reconstituted governing coalition has comfortably survived a confidence vote in Parliament's lower house.

Letta called the vote to reassess his majority after Silvio Berlusconi took his Forza Italia party into the opposition.

The Letta government won Wednesday's vote by a 379-212 margin with the support of a new center-right party that split from Berlusconi.

The government faces what is expected to be a closer vote in the Senate later Wednesday.

In a speech to the lower Chamber of Deputies, Letta called for a "new start" and outlined a series of priorities for 2014, including stimulating the economy, reducing unemployment and reforming Italy's electoral law, which many view as contributing to Italy's political instability.

 
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