Berlusconi splits with key ally

Berlusconi splits with key ally

Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has split with a key political partner but insists his government is not at risk.

A document approved by Mr Berlusconi’s People of Liberty Party accused party co-founder Gianfranco Fini of creating a “party within a party” and fomenting “intolerable” opposition within party ranks.

Mr Fini, speaker of the lower Chamber of Deputies, and Mr Berlusconi have been publicly squabbling for months.

Mr Fini’s allies in the chamber announced they were pulling out of Mr Berlusconi’s party, but Mr Fini has so far resisted pressure to step down as house speaker, the Ansa news agency reported.

Mr Berlusconi insisted the government was not at risk and that he has the support of the majority of Italians.

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