Berlusconi receives setback at polls

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:24
Silvio Berlusconi

Premier Silvio Berlusconi acknowledged Monday that his center-right party suffered defeats in his political stronghold of Milan, where Letizia Moratti was ousted in a runoff by the local leftwing lawyer Giuliano Pisapia, and in the southern city of Naples where the candidate of the fiercely anti-Berlusconi Italia dei Valori party, Luigi De Magistris, stormed home with more than 65% of the votes.

Berlusconi had campaigned hard ahead of the local elections and urged Italians to go to the polls to signal their support for his conservative coalition government.

The premier was defiant despite the results, but observers say that this results could undermine his government's stability and his leadership.