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Italian PM Letta accuses Berlusconi of "huge lie"

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

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

"To justify today's mad and irresponsible action, aimed exclusively at covering his own personal issues, Berlusconi is trying to twist reality, using the sales tax as an alibi," he said in a statement.

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