ROME (AP) — Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi is pushing for elections in Italy after asking his party's five Cabinet ministers to resign from the nation's fragile coalition government to protest the punishment he is about to receive for his tax-fraud conviction.
But the center-right leader's strategy could backfire. At least three of his ministers indicated Sunday they might continue to back Premier Enrico Letta's government so it can keep fighting Italy's recession.
Reforms Minister Gaetano Quagliariello said Sunday he wants to evaluate Letta's speech to Parliament this week before taking part in a confidence vote to decide the 5-month-old government's survival.
Two other Berlusconi ministers expressed resentment about being asked to quit.
Berlusconi is incensed that senators in Letta's center-left party want to strip him of his Senate seat because of the conviction.