PdL heavyweight reiterates govt threat
Ex-minister says will pull plug if PD votes against Berlusconi04 September, 16:29
"We call on the Democratic Party to respond precisely....if the government is to go ahead, or else we can no longer (work) together," PdL heavyweight and former transport minister Altero Matteoli said.
Matteoli criticized a law passed by the PD and PdL under the previous government of Mario Monti which bans anyone with a conviction like Berlusconi's from holding office for six years.
The PdL claims the law is being applied retroactively in Berlusconi's case, although it became effective before his definitive four-year conviction for fraud on film rights on August 1. The PdL says the law is against the Italian Constitution but the PD says it isn't.
A Senate panel will start examining the case Monday and is expected to reach its conclusions by the end of the month.
A full Senate vote is required to make the ban effective but the PdL says it will not come to that if the PD votes against Berlusconi on the panel, because it would immediately pull out of the unprecedented left-right coalition.