'Enormous turbulence' if govt falls, Schulz tells ANSA
PDl lawmakers backing Letta would not be 'traitors'01 October, 12:51
The German added that any lawmakers from Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party who bucked the party line and voted confidence in the executive in a do-or-die test on Wednesday would "not be traitors or heroes, but responsible people".
Three-time premier Berlusconi has called for parliament to be dissolved and early elections held as soon as possible after pulling the PdL's ministers from Letta's grand-coalition government at the weekend.
The crisis comes after almost two months of tension following the supreme court's decision to uphold a tax-fraud conviction against Berlusconi.
Several members of the PdL, including the ministers who quit, have expressed reservations about the wisdom of causing a government crisis just as Italy is showing signs of emerging from its longest recession in over two decades. Schulz, who has repeatedly criticised Berlusconi in the past and had a famous row with him in the European Parliament in 2003, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel was worried about the political instability in Italy.