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Published: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 5:45:01 AM
Updated: Thursday December 12, 2013 MYT 5:46:29 AM

Italy PM Letta wins confidence vote in Senate

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the Prime Minister's Chancellery in Warsaw, December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the Prime Minister's Chancellery in Warsaw, December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday, confirming his parliamentary majority after the withdrawal of a coalition partner last month.

Lawmakers backed the government by 173 to 127. Letta, head of a coalition between the centre-left Democratic Party and smaller centrist and centre-right groups, asked parliament to back a broad programme of reforms which he said would lift Italy's stagnant economy after two years of recession.

The Senate vote followed his comfortable victory in a Chamber of Deputies confidence motion earlier on Wednesday.

Letta called the votes to confirm his majority after Silvio Berlusconi, now banned from parliament, ended seven months of cooperation with the centre-left by pulling his Forza Italia party out of the coalition.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)

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