Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party has withdrawn support for the government of Premier Enrico Letta on the eve of a Senate vote to kick the media magnate out of Parliament because of his tax fraud conviction.
Berlusconi had said he would move into the opposition if the Senate votes to strip him of his seat. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday.
The head of Forza Italia in the lower Chamber of Deputies, Renato Brunetta, told reporters Tuesday "the conditions no longer exist for Forza Itaila to remain in the majority."
The stability of Letta's government isn't expected to be affected in the short term since Letta can still count on the support of lawmakers who split with three-time premier Berlusconi earlier this month and formed a new center-right party.