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Italy PM sees no impact on government from Berlusconi trials

People of Freedom (PDL) party member and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends the Upper house of the parliament in Rome, April 30
People of Freedom (PDL) party member and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends the Upper house of the parliament in Rome, April 30

ROME (Reuters) - Italian center-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta declared on Thursday that a series of criminal trials involving center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi would have no impact on the functioning of the coalition government between their two parties.

"I see the government as stable and focused on its objectives and I don't believe there will be any kind of consequence from external issues," he said at a news conference with foreign journalists in Rome.

On Wednesday, Italy's constitutional court rejected a bid by Berlusconi to block a tax fraud conviction on procedural grounds and the former prime minister faces a separate verdict on Monday on charges of paying for sex with a minor.

Berlusconi has attacked what he calls leftist magistrates for trying to bring him down but has pledged to continue supporting the Letta government.

(Reporting By James Mackenzie)

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