Top ally splits from Berlusconi; Italian government strengthened

|By:, SA News Editor

Italy's government appears to be a bit more stable after Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, the former secretary of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, formed a new grouping called the New Center-Right and said it would stay in the coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

Alfano made the move as he doesn't support Berlusconi's push for early elections due to the latter's likely expulsion from the Senate following his conviction for tax fraud in August.

Alfano, who took 30 Senators with him, has enough strength to stop Berlusconi from bringing down the government; he said the coalition would push forward with plans to reform the economy and the electoral system.

The soap opera that is Italian politics has every so often caused turmoil in the markets since Berlusconi's conviction, although investors have tended to shrug of recent developments.

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