Premier Enrico Letta will face a parliamentry confidence vote on October 2 that he called after his supposed coalition ally PDL leader Silvio Berlusconi demanded his party’s MPs resign in protest against a VAT rise, which many speculate was in fact a consequence of Il Cavaliere’s legal troubles.

It may offer a surprise outcome, notes Corriere della Sera: the PDL’s “moderate” wing has distanced itself from Berlusconi and is trying to rally support for the government.

The split, led by former Berlusconi’s protegé Angelino Alfano, may create another centre-right party, isolating Berlusconi ahead of the likely loss of his senate seat on October 4 following his tax fraud conviction.