Letta to Napolitano Friday 'to see how to go on'
Confidence vote possible after Berlusconi party quit move26 September, 19:59
(ANSA) - New York, September 26 - Premier Enrico Letta said Thursday he would consult with President Giorgio Napolitano on his return from New York to Rome Friday on "how to go on" after Silvio Berlusconi's party, junior partner in the right-left government, said it would quit parliament if the ex-premier's Senate ban from a tax-fraud conviction is enforced next month.
Calling Berlusconi's accusation of a judicial "coup" to remove him from the Senate "a humiliation for Italy", Letta said he would weigh with Napolitano whether a confidence vote was needed to secure the government's future.
He said Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) party should "face up to its responsibilities", as his own Democratic Party (PD) would, "to the Italian public" during a parliamentary debate.
Political stability was "essential" he repeated, as the government tries to push the economy back to growth and enact much-needed reforms.
Letta dismissed suggestions he might resign and try to form an alternative majority.
FI is angry with the PD for its insistence on enforcing a law both parties backed last year, arguing that in Berlusconi's case it is being applied retroactively, against the Italian Constitution.
Several senior FI members on Thursday urged the PD to ease its insistence on upholding the law.
Letta said he understood Berlusconi's feelings about his legal woes, the alleged consequence of years of judicial persecution, but stressed that "pulling down the Temple like Samson did (and killing everyone) is in nobody's interest".
He reiterated that Berlusconi's future - a year under house arrest or in community service, as well as the ban - should be kept separate from the grand-coalition government's fortunes.