Fini threatens to pull party from government
Italy's National Alliance party stepped up pressure on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday, threatening to quit the fractious government coalition if economic policy did not take a new direction.
"The AN (National Alliance) maintains that an about-turn in the government's economic policy is indispensable and pins its commitment to the government on it," deputy prime minister and party leader Gianfranco Fini said. The right-wing National Alliance is the second biggest grouping in the centre-right coalition after Mr Berlusconi's own Forza Italia party.
Mr Berlusconi has been scrambling to rein in his unruly coalition allies after recent ballot-box reversals in European and local elections left Forza Italia badly bruised and the prime minister more vulnerable to the demands of his smaller partners.