ROME, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) - Five ministers of former premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party resigned from the Italian coalition government, ANSA news agency said on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano, Minister of Agriculture Nunzia Di Girolamo, Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Maurizio Lupi and Minister of Constitutional Reforms Gaetano Quagliariello have handed their "irrevocable resignations" to the government, ANSA reported.
The resignations were first announced on Saturday after Berlusconi blamed Prime Minister Enrico Letta's left-right coalition for putting on ice the postponement of a hike in the value added tax (VAT) scheduled to take effect Tuesday.
Upholding Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction in August, the first guilty verdict to be confirmed on appeal in two decades of fighting legal cases, underlined the breakdown between PdL and Letta's center-left Democratic Party (PD).
The two traditional rivals were forced together in an unnatural alliance by February's deadlocked election.