Berlusconi Addresses Parliament Ahead of Confidence Vote

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 7:45 am (UTC-5)
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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has appealed to parliament to allow him to continue leading the country. He spoke a day before a critical confidence vote by lawmakers.

Mr. Berlusconi said Thursday there is no “credible alternative” to his government and that early elections would not solve Italy's financial crisis.

A key partner in his coalition — the powerful Northern League party — said last week it would be “complicated” for the government to last until the next scheduled elections in 2013.

Berlusconi has insisted that he wants to remain in power, despite Italy's economic crisis and a flood of political and personal problems — including several different trials on fraud and sex charges.

Many Italians are angry over a more than $80 billion austerity package imposed under pressure from the European Central Bank.