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Mr. Berlusconi has issued reassurances that his government is stable, but in recent days he also has warned that he will push for early elections at the first sign of trouble.

In case of a government collapse, the president of the republic might seek to put a caretaker government in place or call early elections.

Italian analysts say that if the election is held very soon, Mr. Berlusconi might benefit because this would leave little time for Mr. Fini to organize his challenge. The main leftist opposition party also is seen as a weak contender.

The government’s term ends in 2013.