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Letta wins Senate confidence too

Right-left govt ready to rule

30 April, 14:32
Letta wins Senate confidence too (ANSA) - Rome, April 30 - Enrico Letta's new government won a Senate confidence vote Tuesday, the second of two parliamentary OKs to start implementing an ambitious reform programme.

The unprecedented right-left coalition got 233 ayes, 59 nays and 18 abstentions in the upper house after gaining a crushing majority in the lower house Monday.

Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) acting leader Letta, 46, is aiming to revive the flatlining Italian economy, create jobs, reform labour, tax and electoral laws, streamline government, cut red tape and slash political costs to restore faith in a system many voters see as corrupt, self-serving and malfunctioning.

He has said he will quit unless substantive reforms are achieved in 18 months.

The PD, which came first in February's general election but failed to win a majority in the Senate, is joined in government by its long-time foe, three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) Party.

The PD-PdL alliance is also backed by ex-premier Mario Monti's Civic Choice group.