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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi asked five ministers from his center-right People of Freedom Party (PDL) to resign from the coalition government led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta. The resignations were offered in protest of a sales tax increase, but many in politics believe the decision was an attempt for Berlusconi to broker a way out of his personal legal problems. But the sudden mass resignation order drew widespread criticism from within the government, including high-ranking members from Berlusconi's own party.