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Approval ratings for Berlusconi slide (ANSA) PDF Print E-mail
Mar 10, 2010 at 04:41 PM
Image The Italian national news agenc, ANSA, today reported that: The approval ratings for Premier Silvio Berlusconi, his government and his People of Freedom (PdL) party all fell to record lows in March, according to a monthly poll from the IPR research group released on Wednesday. IPR added that Italy's other parties, both in government and on the opposition, failed to benefit from the PdL's decline.

The March poll came after the mix-up up by the PdL over presenting its list of candidates for this month's partial regional elections and the government's attempts to rectify this. According to the March poll, Berlusconi's personal approval rating in one month slipped two percentage points to 44%, its lowest level since he took office in the spring of 2008 and far below its peak of 62% in October 2008.

The percentage of Italians who disapprove of Berlusconi's performance as premier rose by two percentage points to its highest yet, 54%. The approval rating for Berlusconi's center-right government also fell by two percentage points, after holding steady for fourth months in a row, sinking to 38%, its lowest yet, while its disapproval rating climbed two points to 58%.

Although its approval rating fell in one month from 46% to 43%, the PdL continued to be the party which enjoyed the greatest confidence among Italians. The Democratic Party (PD), the biggest opposition group, saw its approval rating hold at 40%, after gaining three points last month following a four-point loss in January.

The opposition IdV, headed by ex-Clean Hands prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, held at 38% while the centrist UDC opposition party fell two points to 38%.

The approval rating of the PdL's government ally the Northern League was unchanged again this month at 31%.
Within the government only eight ministers had approval ratings of 50% or above while 15 were below.

Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi again this month enjoyed the highest approval rating, 64%, while four ministers were tied in second place with a 59% rating: Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, down a point; Justice Minister Angelino Alfano; Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti and Industry Minister Claudio Scajola, all up a percentage point.

Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta held at 58%, after falling three points in February, Equal Opportunities Minister Mara Carfagna was unchanged at 55%, and Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa fell two points to 50%. At the bottom of table again this month was Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla, who dropped three points to 25%, while Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo and Elio Vito, the minister for relations with parliament, were unchanged at 29%.

Out of 23 ministers, 10 saw their ratings remain the same as last month, six saw them fall and seven rise.

The IPR poll was taken March 8 and 9 on a cross section of 1,000 Italian voters.(ANSA)

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