In an attempt to topple Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government, four top officials, including two ministers, are set to resign on Monday afternoon. Even as the move might not be able to bring down the administration, it is likely to prompt early elections in the country, analysts say.
The officials from parliament's lower house speaker Gianfranco Fini's Future and Liberty for Italy party have also announced intent to withdraw from the coalition. Europe Minister Andrea Ronchi and Deputy Economic Development Minister Adolfo Urso will be joined two other government members in submitting the resignations. Another key member of the government is reportedly considering the same decision.
The spat between Fini and Berlusconi intensified over the past few weeks, as Fini called upon the prime minister to resign from his post. Members of Fini's party maintained that Berlusconi is 'least qualified to head' the national unity government.
In an interview to Sky TG24 on Monday, minister Usro said: We propose a new government, a new majority, a new agenda for reform.
Responding to the fallout, Berlusconi earlier stated that he would call a confidence vote in both houses of parliament as soon as the 2011 budget is approved. The debate over the budget will commence on Tuesday in the lower house and then will be passed on to the upper house for final approval. Though Berlusconi is expected to survive the vote, analysts say Fini could deny him a majority, causing political instability in the parliament.