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Berlusconi says Senate expulsion vote bad day for 'democracy'

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday, just minutes before senators were to vote to expel him after a 20-year parliamentary career, that the move against him was "a day of mourning for democracy". "This a day of bitterness," the three-time former prime minister and flamboyant media tycoon told thousands of supporters massed outside his luxury house in Rome. dt/rmb

Italian parliament readies to expel Berlusconi

Italy's parliament on Wednesday prepared to expel Silvio Berlusconi over his tax fraud conviction in a momentous move that raises the risk of his arrest but is unlikely to end his tumultuous career. Thousands of Berlusconi loyalists massed outside the three-time former prime minister's luxury home in Rome to support their leader, as lawmakers from his party took the floor of the Senate one by one to back him. "We are at a crossroads in the history of our country. Whatever happens today, a 20-year era is over," said Pier Ferdinando Casini from the centrist UDC party.

Italian parliament debates Berlusconi expulsion

Italy's parliament on Wednesday began debating the expulsion of Silvio Berlusconi in a momentous move that will rattle but not bring down the government and leave the billionaire tycoon more at risk of arrest. Italian Senate speaker Pietro Grasso said senators were called to discuss "the invalidation of the election of senator Berlusconi" under a law approved last year to ban convicted criminals from the parliament. Voting is only expected to start at 1800 GMT.

Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over tax fraud sentence

By James Mackenzie ROME (Reuters) - Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi faces one of the heaviest blows of his 20-year political career on Wednesday when the Senate votes on stripping him of his seat in parliament over a conviction for tax fraud. The vote will be the culmination of months of political wrangling and is almost certain to lead to Berlusconi's expulsion from the upper house, opening an uncertain new phase for one of Italy's most divisive political figures.

Berlusconi: Rise and fall of Italy's playboy politico

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, who is expected to be forced out of parliament on Wednesday for the first time since he was elected in 1994, has dominated politics despite sex scandals, international gaffes and legal woes. The flamboyant billionaire has been prime minister three times in a career that began with an election victory in 1994 when he burst on to the political scene aided by his massive media assets and popular charm.

Key dates in Berlusconi's political career

Silvio Berlusconi has been a headline act on the Italian political scene since the early 1990s in a career dogged by prosecutions that are likely to lead to his expulsion from parliament later on Wednesday. Here are some of the key dates in his career: 1994: The billionaire media tycoon wins elections with his Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, following a wave of anti-corruption investigations that decimate the old political order dominated by the Christian-Democrats.

Italian parliament poised to expel Berlusconi

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi prepared for likely expulsion from parliament on Wednesday via a momentous vote that will rattle but not bring down the government and leave the billionaire tycoon more at risk of arrest. Berlusconi has asked fellow senators to delay the vote because he claims to have new evidence warranting a judicial review of the criminal conviction for tax fraud that is the basis for his probable ejection.

Berlusconi to break with government in budget vote

By Paolo Biondi ROME (Reuters) - Silvio Berlusconi's party will vote against the government in a confidence vote over the 2014 budget and will announce its withdrawal from the ruling coalition, a source in his Forza Italia party said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Enrico Letta is expected to survive without Berlusconi's support, but the vote has brought the clash between the two to a head a day before the Senate is expected to strip the four-time premier of his parliamentary seat after his August tax-fraud conviction.

Berlusconi will have clout even as an ex-MP

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi will continue to have clout even if he is expelled from parliament as expected on Wednesday, but he is more at risk of being arrested, an expert on Italian politics told AFP. "Berlusconi is still extremely powerful, although that power is declining," James Walston, a professor at the American University in Rome, said this week. "He still has enormous resources, he still has his media, he still has lots of very diehard supporters inside and outside parliament." But he added Berlusconi would be "liable for arrest".

Berlusconi wavers ahead of confidence vote on Italy budget

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's center-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.
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