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“Confidence hangs on seven votes”, headlines Corriere della Sera as the Italian parliament braces for a vote that will decide PM Silvio Berlusconi’s and Italy’s political future. Now that Gianfranco Fini, a former Berlusconi ally, has signed a motion of no-confidence against the ruling PdL (People of Liberty), the government cannot muster the 316 votes it needs to survive in the lower house. In recent days, however, Berlusconi has launched an audacious – and, according to some, corrupt – campaign to rally independent and even opposition MPs to his cause. In a senate speech ahead of the vote, the Cavaliere said he is ready to bring in UDC (Christian Democrats) to stabilise his majority. Meanwhile, tensions are rising with MPs being ordered to get to parliament “by dawn” to avoid being caught up in anti-austerity demonstrations that will block the capital tomorrow.