The PDL party of Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday that its walkout from a parliamentary confidence vote was a signal of its disapproval of Italy's economic policies and not an attempt to bring down the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti.
But party secretary Angelino Alfano told reporters the party would decide over the next few days whether it was necessary to bring down the year-old technocrat government and precipitate a snap election.
He said if the PDL had wanted to bring down Monti's government it would have voted against in the votes in both the Senate and chamber of deputies.
"If we wanted to make it fall, we would have already today given a vote of no confidence in the government. Instead we made as always a responsible choice that is a clear sign to the government that we don't like the way things are going for the economy," Alfano said.
The PDL walked out of a confidence vote in the Senate and abstained in a separate vote in the lower house. The government survived both votes.