Italy: Prime Minister Letta wins confidence of Senate and lower house

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The prime minister of Italy, Enrico Letta, has won a vote of confidence in both chambers of parliament.

As expected by many, the votes which were taken in the lower house and the Senate were each won by a comfortable majority on Wednesday.

Although Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party is in the minority in the senate, he obtained the vote of the New Centre Right Party, formed by dissident ‘Berlusconians’ and led by Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano. Some small centrist groups also supported the Prime Minister.

Protesters gathered outside parliament, demanding the chance to vote in a general election.

“This country has been on its knees for years,” said one protester. “We know what they’ve done, now let the people have the power and let’s go straight to elections. It is the only solution to everything. Let’s go to the polls and let the Italians decide what they want.”

Demonstrators shouted in protest as they waited for Letta to leave Parliament following a vote that was designed to confirm his new majority after Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his support for the coalition government.