The country previously promised it would bring its deficit below 3% by next year.
Berlusconi called for centre-right voters to rally behind the re-launched Forza Italia party.
Silvio Berlusconi is appealing a jail sentence and ban from public office for tax fraud.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta promised to press for a change to the European Union's focus on austerity.
Parliament failed to elect a new state president in the first two votes on Thursday.
The only man with the key to Italy’s crisis Giorgio Napolitano has only weeks left in his job.