Italy’s new government wins confidence vote

Rome, Feb 26: Italy’s new government headed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Tuesday won the confidence vote in the Lower House, hours after the Senate gave its approval.

The new coalition government won the support of the Lower House by a vote of 378 to 220 and one abstention, Xinhua reported.

Renzi has committed himself and his team to work for “immediate” and “radical” reforms to revive the country’s recession-gripped economy, saying that if Italy loses this challenge it will be his fault “entirely”.

Renzi’s Centre-Left Democratic Party (PD), the largest group in parliament, formed the ruling coalition with the New Centre Right (NCD) led by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, a former ally of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Parties in the Opposition, including Berlusconi’s Centre-Right Forza Italia (FI), complained that the Renzi government was supported by the same unstable alliance of the previous one led by Enrico Letta, which failed to introduce promised changes.

Italy has gone through four prime ministers in four years while, despite some signals of slight recovery, the country was struggling to overcome its longest recession in 40 years.

The European Commission (EC) Tuesday revised down its forecast of Italian economic growth for this year to 0.6 percent from a previous valuation of 0.7 percent.

The EC also expected that unemployment in the Mediterranean country will be higher than earlier predicted, 12.6 percent in 2014 and 12.4 percent in 2015.