(ANSA) - Rome, August 22 - Silvio Berlusconi's party
continued to threaten the end of the shaky coalition government
Thursday following a tense tete-a-tete between Premier Enrico
Letta and Berlusconi's No.2, Deputy Premier Angelino Alfano, in
a last-ditch bid to avert the end of the shaky 100-day alliance
over the media mogul's legal troubles and a pending ban from
"A solution is possible, but if the (center-left)
Democratic Party (PD) provokes a rupture, us pulling out of the
government would be inevitable," said Sandro Bondi, a Senator
from Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
In a late-night, two-hour meeting Wednesday, Alfano told
Letta, from the PD, that the PdL could not countenance staying
in the cabinet if the center left votes his party leader out of
The Senate is set to vote September 9 on stripping
three-time premier and media magnate Berlusconi of his place in
the upper house according to a new anti-corruption law that
kicked in after his August 1 conviction for tax fraud, his first
definitive sentence in almost 20 years of battles with
magistrates he accuses of left-wing bias.
"I will not accept blackmail or ultimatums," said Letta
after the meeting adjourned in an apparent stalemate.
Renato Schifani, the PdL's Senate whip, said Thursday the
party did not "intend to pull the plug on the government," but
insisted that the PD reconsider the law that would have
Berlusconi ejected from parliament.
The PdL claims subjecting Berlusconi to the law, passed by
Mario Monti's previous government with backing from the PD and
PdL, would breach the Constitution because it would allegedly be