Italy's Letta survives confidence vote on budget

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Associated Press

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 9:36 AM

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Enrico Letta's government has survived a confidence vote in Parliament's lower chamber tied to next year's budget.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 350-196 with one abstention Friday to pass the budget bill, which now moves to the Senate where Letta's majority is much thinner.

The 2014 budget is aimed at cutting spending while trying to revive Italy's moribund economy, but no one seems happy with it other than the majority Democratic Party. Italy's business lobby, the opposition Forza Italia party of Silvio Berlusconi and the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement have all denounced various elements of the legislation.

Letta defends the budget, saying if everyone got what they wanted, the result would be bankruptcy. He says: "I take the responsibility to make choices."

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