Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday rejected opposition and lobby groups' calls for the government to resign over the country's economic woes and said the ruling centre-right coalition was solid and would push on with reforms.
Pressure rose on Berlusconi this week after S&P’s cut Italy's credit rating by one notch and warned of a deteriorating growth outlook, prompting widespread criticism of the government and daily calls for it to step down.
While Berlusconi's coalition has been plagued by infighting and policy disagreements, the prime minister himself is battling a widening prostitution scandal that has further dented his popularity and fuelled opposition outrage.
"We can't be controlled by the expectations of the media and the opposition," Berlusconi said by telephone to a rally of his PDLparty on Sunday.
"We will not resign unless there is a vote of no confidence in parliament, which we don't see happening." He said the government would continue as a "solid and cohesive" majority and would carry out its reform plan.