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Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 12:25:01 AM
Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 12:25:48 AM
ROME (Reuters) - Italian centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi told lawmakers from his People of Freedom party (PDL) on Monday that he was not influenced by anyone in his decision to withdraw PDL ministers from the government at the weekend.
Berlusconi's shock decision undermined Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government and created significant dissent and a risk of a breakaway in his own party.
"It made no sense to remain in the government, I took this decision alone," Berlusconi said, according to one of the parliamentarians present at the meeting.
More moderate "doves" in the PDL have said Berlusconi is being influenced by a group of hardliners who are pushing him towards extremist positions.
(Reporting By Paolo Biondi, writing by Gavin Jones)
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