It is hard to see Italy's already fragile centre-left/centre-right coalition government surviving yesterday's Supreme Court of Appeal's ruling against Mr Berlusconi. The decision to ask for a review of the five-year ban on holding public office will provide little consolation to the leader of the centre right or to the centre-left prime minister, Enrico Letta.
Under an anti-corruption law passed by the Monti government, anyone given a definitive jail sentence of more than two years is prohibited for running for public office. This effectively prevents Mr Berlusconi from standing in the next general election.
Under the new law the Senate must now vote on whether to expel him from the upper house, to which he was elected in February. If a substantial number of Mr Letta's already divided party, the Partito Democratico (PD) vote to expel him, the collapse of the government and/or the break-up of the PD is likely to follow shortly after.
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