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Italy PM survives vote after Berlusconi about-face

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ROME — Silvio Berlusconi made a stunning about-face today and threw his support behind the government of Premier Enrico Letta in a confidence vote, acknowledging defeat on the Senate floor after defections in his party robbed him of the backing he needed to bring down the government.

The three-time premier took the floor in an unexpected address after Letta made an impassioned plea to keep his 5-month-old left-right coalition alive.

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