Facing dissent from within his own party over his plans to topple the coalition government of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, Silvio Berlusconi reversed course today and decided to back down from an attempt to bring down the government.
Berlusconi, the former prime minister, prompted the vote of confidence in Italy’s Senate by threatening to withdraw his party's support from Letta’s government. The resulting backlash, and Berlusconi’s decision to back down, have left the former prime minister weakened. His People of Freedom Party, which has dominated the political scene in Italy for the past two decades, could also suffer consequences.
“For the first time a large part of his party moved away from [Berlusconi] and decided not to follow his instructions,” Franco Pavoncello, professor of political science at John Cabot University in Rome told Trend Lines.