Italian PM Letta accuses Berlusconi of "huge lie"


ROME, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Enrico Lettaaccused centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday oftelling Italians a "huge lie" by claiming the cabinet's failureto pass measures to avert a rise in sales tax was the reason forpulling out of the government.

The statement came after Berlusconi, battling moves to expelhim from parliament following a tax fraud conviction, pulledministers from his centre-right party out of the cabinet,effectively bringing down Letta's fragile coalition of left andright.

"To justify today's mad and irresponsible action, aimedexclusively at covering his own personal issues, Berlusconi istrying to twist reality, using the sales tax as an alibi," hesaid in a statement.

"In parliament, everyone will have to assume responsibilityfor their actions before the nation," he said.

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