Italy’s centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday his party was still undecided on whether to withdraw its support for Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government, just hours before a confidence vote over the 2014 budget.
Letta is expected to win the vote without Berlusconi, but the primarily procedural move has nonetheless brought the clash between the two to a head.
A broad left-right coalition, formed after February’s deadlocked national election, has supported Letta since April. Berlusconi, however, prompted a split in his party when he tried and failed to bring down the government last month.
The rift has left 30 centre-right senators and 27 deputies supporting the government, which is enough to guarantee its survival.
“The government is in such confusion that it still has not written a definitive version and so we have not been able to read it,” Berlusconi, a media magnate, said of the budget package during an interview with one of his TV channels.
But his Forza Italia party, whose lawmakers will meet in the afternoon to make their decision, is widely expected to break with the government and go into open opposition.