Soldiers could be sent into Italy's cities, illegal immigrants will be imprisoned and all non-serious court cases will be frozen for a year under new measures approved by Italy's senate.
The senate voted 166 to 123 to approve a wide-ranging package of measures which will allow Silvio Berlusconi to govern Italy with an iron fist.
Mr Berlusconi, 71, will now be able to use as many as 3,000 soldiers for up to six months in order to fight crime. Previously, the use of the army had to be agreed by the parliament beforehand.
Another controversial measure in the package will eventually see illegal immigrants imprisoned for up to four years. Landlords who rent homes to illegal immigrants will have their properties seized. Mr Berlusconi has pinned much of the blame for Italy's crime problem on immigrants and has vowed to "wash the piazzas clean of uncertainty". Immigrants who claim to have family in Italy will be given DNA tests.