Italy's once-shaky ruling coalition emerged in firm control of the government after winning a 235-to-70 confidence vote in the upper house of parliament. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who had provoked the crisis that could have brought down the government, reversed his position at the last minute and urged fellow senators to back the government that Prime Minister Enrico Letta leads. Letta said failure to back him could destroy Italy's hopes for an economic recovery.

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