Italy's agriculture minister resigns, blow to govt

ROME (AP) - Italian state TV says the country's agriculture minister has resigned from Premier Enrico Letta's tense coalition government.

LaPresse news agency quoted Nunzia De Girolamo as saying in a statement Sunday night she felt the government didn't sufficiently defend her "honor" in a recent embarrassing flap.

De Girolamo had been heard using vulgarities while talking about alleged pressures for contracts involving a public health office in southern Italy. She isn't under investigation, but claims her conversation was illegally taped in her home by a suspect in a probe of the contracts.

De Girolamo, from a junior coalition party, recently proclaimed her innocence in Parliament. But many lawmakers, including some backing the government, didn't show up to hear her speech. She is the second minister to resign from the 9-month-old government.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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