(ANSA) - Rome, August 28 - The fragile coalition government
will fall apart if a controversial property tax known as IMU is
not rolled back, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right
People of Freedom (PdL) party repeated on Monday.
"If the (center left) does not agree to cancel IMU on all
primary residences, for us the government has exhausted its
mission," said PdL deputy Senate whip Maurizio Gasparri.
Over the weekend bigwigs from the center right met at
Berlusconi's residence outside Milan to discuss, among other
things, a meeting Wednesday in the divided right-left cabinet to
decide the fate of the tax.
Berlusconi campaigned hard against it in February
elections, where he roared to second, ultimately forcing the
uncomfortable alliance with the first-place center-left
Democratic Party (PD).
The PdL has repeatedly threatened to pull its support and
topple the government if IMU is not abolished, something Economy
Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni says the country cannot afford.
"We have the resources, enough waffling," countered PdL
Lower House whip Renato Brunetta. "I'm sure (Premier Enrico)
Letta will make the right decision. I trust him.
Following the PdL powwow, Letta said creating a crisis of
government over the tax would be "foolish".
The issue of IMU has added to Letta's woes surrounding the
conviction of Berlusconi early this month for tax fraud, his
first ever binding sentence in almost 20 years of legal
While Berlusconi seems resigned to accept a one-year term
under house arrest or performing community service as part of
the supreme Cassation Court's ruling, the PdL says it cannot
tolerate working in the same government with the PD if it votes
next month in the Senate to uphold a ban from office for the
three-time premier, stripping him of his seat in the Upper
(photo: Renato Brunetta)