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Italy's Berlusconi puts his government to test

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is setting out his agenda before lawmakers ahead of a confidence vote that will determine the survival of his government.

world Updated: Sep 29, 2010 15:27 IST

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is setting out his agenda before lawmakers ahead of a confidence vote that will determine the survival of his government.

The Italian leader is expected to survive the confidence vote in the lower house of parliament later Wednesday. But if he loses, he will have to resign.

Berlusconi is halfway through his current five-year term. The premier split with longtime lieutenant Gianfranco Fini this summer after months of feuding over the government's program and the balance of power in the party the two co-founded. The split potentially deprived Berlusconi of his once-solid parliamentary majority.

But lawmakers loyal to Fini have signaled they would support the government in Wednesday's confidence vote.