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Italy's new far-right government wins 2nd confidence vote


Italy's new far-right government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Wednesday won the second of two required confidence votes in parliament, confirming its solid majority in both chambers.

The vote in the Senate was 115 in favor of Meloni's coalition government and 79 against it, with five abstentions.

Earlier on Wednesday, during the parliamentary debate, the new Italian premier responded to critics who accused her policy guidelines – outlined in her first speech to the Lower House on Tuesday – of being too vague and missing key points.

Meloni confirmed a campaign pledge of her rightist coalition, announcing that one of the first moves on the economic front will be lifting the existing limit on cash payments – a measure introduced by previous governments as a deterrent for money laundering and fiscal evasion.

Amid the opposition's complaints that the move would only benefit illicit payments and fiscal frauds, Meloni insisted she saw "no correlation" between cash payments and the expansion of the underground economy.

The new premier also rejected criticism by the center-left opposition that in her previous speeches in support of Ukraine she failed to make any clear reference to peace.

Meloni insisted that the only way to reach a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine is to continue to support Kyiv in defending itself militarily.

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