Da The Guardian del 18/04/2005
Originale su http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5173138-111093,00.html

Berlusconi fights for his coalition

di Barbara McMahon

Rome - The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, begins one of the most difficult weeks of his political career today, trying to bring his allies back on board to save his coalition government.

He is being urged to call a general election because of the withdrawal of the third party in the coalition, the Union of Christian Democrats, in the fourth year of his five-year term.

The UDC was alarmed by the scale of the coalition's defeat in regional elections earlier this month and Mr Berlusconi's diminishing popularity, and had demanded an immediate change in policy.

La Stampa said Mr Berlusconi was on the telephone most of the weekend trying to restore the coalition.

He had at least one conversation with the UDC leader, Marco Follini, previously one of his two deputy prime ministers, trying to find a way forward. The paper said the conversation was "chilly".

Mr Berlusconi is due to meet President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi to explain how he intends to resolve the crisis.

There is expected to be at least a cabinet reshuffle.

Constitutionally, if he cannot reach a settlement he must hand in his resignation to Mr Ciampi and a general election will be held within 70 days.

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