Berlusconi Threatens to Pull Support for Successor

Allies announce voting abstention


Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to withdraw his party's support from his successor, Mario Monti, leaving the government teetering and sending Italian bonds tumbling.

Monti today postponed a cabinet meeting at his office in central Rome and rushed to the nearby Senate to attend a confidence vote after Berlusconi allies announced a mass abstention. While the economic stimulus bill survived, Monti faces another confidence vote in the lower house today and the remaining months of his tenure were placed in doubt.