Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Italy’s Parliament rejected a no- confidence motion called by the opposition against Agriculture Minister Saverio Romano, who is under investigation in Sicily for mafia association.
The 630-seat Chamber of Deputies voted 315 to 294 against the motion as the opposition failed in its bid to oust Romano, who denies the allegations against him.
The vote was another key test for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s thin majority after Parliament rejected a request last week to authorize the arrest of a former aide to Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti.
Pressure is mounting on the premier after Standard & Poor’s cut Italy’s credit rating one level to A on Sept. 19, citing his “fragile” government and weak economic growth. A defendant in four trials, Berlusconi has faced calls this month from Italian employers, his long-time backers, to step down as the nation’s bonds succumb to contagion from the debt crisis.
--With assistance from Lorenzo Totaro in Rome. Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Jennifer M. Freedman
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