The decision by one of Silvio Berlusconi’s key allies to break from his party and back Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition appears to have shored up the Italian government with a final vote on expelling the media magnate from public life looming large.
Berlusconi said on Saturday his rump centre-right party had split from the coalition but did not have the numbers to bring it down.
Angelino Alfano, interior minister and deputy premier, said all five of the centre-right ministers under his umbrella would stay in the government but there is still plenty of disagreement within the coalition about the 2014 budget and doubts about Letta’s ability to push through meaningful economic reforms.
Letta is speaking at a conference “Charting the Way Ahead” today. On Sunday, economy minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said he wanted to accelerate public spending cuts following Friday’s criticism of the draft budget by the European Commission, which it said could break the bloc’s debt rules.
The week boasts a seemingly endless list of central bankers breaking cover. It would be easier to list which of the ECB’s 23-man Governing Council is not speaking over the next few days so brace yourself for a cacophony.
Today, Euro Finance Week, a gathering of Europe’s banking and policymaking aristocracy, gets underway with ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch featuring (Mario Draghi appears later in the week).