Oct. 4 - An Italian Senate Committee has recommended expelling Silvio Berlusconi from parliament, following his conviction for tax fraud. It comes at the end of a turbulent week in Italian politics. Joanna Partridge reports.
He wasn't present to hear the verdict. An Italian Senate Committee has recommended throwing Silvio Berlusconi out of parliament, stripping him of his parliamentary immunity, after his conviction for tax fraud. The decision now needs to be ratified by the full Senate within the next three weeks. Berlusconi's card has been marked since early August, when Italy's top court found him guilty of a massive tax fraud scheme at his Mediaset television empire. The vote comes at the end of a turbulent week in Italian politics, which saw Berlusconi forced into a humiliating climbdown following a revolt within his PDL party, which meant he had to back Prime Minister Enrico Letta in a confidence vote. Simon Derrick is from Bank of NY Mellon. SOUNDBITE: Simon Derrick, Senior Currency Strategist, Bank of NY Mellon, saying (English): "Clearly there was a degree of sympathy for him after his ouster in 2011, that has obviously gone away almost entirely. And with the absence of him to really seriously undermine the current government, given the fact that the 5-Star Movement seems to have its own problems, I actually think there's a reasonable chance that this coalition can last." Analysts also hope PDL members will now co-operate more within the coalition. Italy badly needs political unity to pass long overdue reforms to its labour market, education and social systems. Even if the full Senate vote to kick Berlusconi out of parliament, seasoned watchers of Italian politics say it may take a few months until it's clear whether his time is up and what that means for Italy.