Italy Senate approves austerity package

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian Senate Wednesday approved the government's austerity program to balance the budget in 2013 in a vote of confidence called by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The plan, which was radically overhauled on several occasions during its passage through the Senate, passed with 165 votes in favor, 141 against and three abstentions.

The revised package, worth some 54 billion euros, will now pass to the lower house Chamber of Deputies where Berlusconi has a slimmer but still stable majority.