Berlusconi faces no-confidence vote
Italy's opposition has introduced a no-confidence motion against Premier Silvio Berlusconi in a move that sets the stage for a showdown in parliament that could spell the end of the government.
The opposition Democratic Party and its ally the Italy of Values party co-sponsored the motion in the lower Chamber of Deputies. No date has been set for it to be discussed.
Mr Berlusconi's government has been in trouble for months, but the political crisis accelerated over the weekend when his former ally Gianfranco Fini formally called on him to resign.
Mr Berlusconi refused. The no-confidence motion will now force Fini and his allies, whose support is crucial to the premier, to choose whether to support him or force the government to fall.