September 30, 2013 - 09:11 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is to go to parliament to seek a way out of the crisis engulfing his coalition government, according to BBC News.
A confidence vote will be held in parliament on Wednesday, Oct 2.
Relations between Letta's centre-left grouping and ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi's party have reached rock bottom.
Berlusconi pulled his five ministers out of the administration on Saturday. But those ministers have now given mixed signals as to whether they are actually leaving the government.
After meeting the Prime Minister, President Napolitano said the rebel ministers' equivocation had led to a "climate of evident uncertainty regarding possible developments".
Because of that, Letta would go before parliament to see "what could be done".
President Napolitano is trying to bring about the formation of a new coalition without calling elections.
"The president of the republic dissolves the parliament only in case there is no chance of finding a majority and therefore a new government in the interest of the country," he said before Sunday evening's meeting with Letta.
The crisis follows weeks of worsening ties between Berlusconi's party and Letta's grouping.
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) objects to a planned increase in sales tax, which is part of wider government policy to reduce big public debts.
But Berlusconi's legal problems had already cast a long shadow over the coalition, with the former PM threatening to undermine it if he was expelled from the Senate for tax fraud.
A committee of the Senate is due to decide on his expulsion this week after the Supreme Court recently upheld his conviction.
The current coalition government was put together after inconclusive elections in February, and the latest developments come against the background of Italy's struggling economy, the eurozone's third-largest.
It is feared that the crisis could hamper efforts to enact badly-needed reforms to tackle Italy's economic problems, including debt, recession and high youth unemployment.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that coalition tensions represent a risk to the Italian economy.
Letta warned late on Friday that he would resign unless his coalition cabinet won a confidence vote.
But Berlusconi pre-empted that, describing Letta's comments as "unacceptable". He later said all five ministers of his PDL party were resigning.
However, most of the five ministers appeared to challenge the former Prime Minister's order to leave the coalition.
"I thoroughly understand his state of mind, but I cannot justify or share the strategy," said Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. Reforms Minister Gaetano Quagliarello and Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi also appeared reluctant to pull out of the cabinet.
"We want to stay with Berlusconi but not his poor advisers," Lupi said.
Letta had responded angrily to Saturday's resignations, accusing the PDL leader of telling Italians a "huge lie" in using the sales tax as an "alibi" for his own personal concerns.