ROME, June 15 (UPI) -- A leader of the Northern League, a partner in Italy's coalition government, Wednesday urged the country end its mission in Libya.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should instead cut taxes, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. The league opposed Italian participation in the NATO mission in support of Libyan rebels from the beginning.
''Yesterday the United States House of Representatives rejected (President Barack) Obama's request for more funding for the offensive in Libya,'' Maroni said. ''The Italian government and other European governments should do the same and put money into developing democracy, not bombs.''
Some observers suggest the Northern League could bring down the government by withdrawing from the coalition if Berlusconi does not do what they want. Berlusconi has said he plans to stay in office until 2013 in spite of his slender majority and his legal difficulties, which include four criminal trials in Milan.