17:27 GMT +323 October 2018
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    Silvio Berlusconi

    Italy's Prime Minister Berlusconi wins confidence vote

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    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote on Friday, the 51st since he took office in 2008.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote on Friday, the 51st since he took office in 2008.

    Berlusconi's supporters won the vote in the lower house of the Italian parliament by a slim majority of 316 "yes" votes against 301 "no" votes.

    Friday's vote was sparked by the parliament's decision to turn down a routine but important budget provision. A number of prominent supporters of the prime minister were absent during the vote, including Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti.

    The confidence vote is seen as another step in the premier's declining political career. The Italian prime minister has found himself under increased pressure for poor handling of the country's economic problems.

    The fact that Berlusconi is a defendant in three trials for bribery, tax fraud, abuse of power and paying to have sex with a minor also adds to the prime minister's plummeting approval ratings.

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