Silvio Berlusconi Resigns After Italian Parliament Approves Austerity Measures


The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 12/11/11 18:15 Updated: 12/11/11 21:05

Silvio Berlusconi has quit as prime minister after the Italian parliament approved on a package of austerity measures.

Members of the lower house voted 380-26 in favour of the legislation on Saturday afternoon, there were two abstentions.

The reforms, approved by the Senate on Friday, are designed to reassure the markets Italy will be able to resolve its debt issues.

Among the measures included in the finance bill is an increase in VAT from from 20% to 21% and a freeze on public-sector salaries until 2014.

Berlusconi has said he would step down once the legislation was put in place and markets will be waiting to see how the transition is managed.

He met Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to hand in his notice after a final meeting of his cabinet. Italian news agency Ansa quoted Berlusconi as telling aides: "This is something that deeply saddens me".

Demonstrators chanting "resign, resign, resign" had gathered outside parliament and it has been reported that Berlusconi's car was pelted with coins as it drove to the presidential palace.

News of his resignation was greeted with celebrations in central Rome.

It is expected that the former European Commissioner Mario Monti will head a technocratic cabinet to steer the country through its current turmoil.

Italy has come under immense pressure from investors as confidence in its government collapsed and hold-ups in the creation of vital European stability mechanisms drove speculation that the country could be on the verge of seeking debt relief.

The yield on the country's 10-year bonds rose above 7% on Wednesday, although buying by the European Central Bank (ECB) brought the figure down on Thursday.

Berlusconi's imminent departure will rob European politics of one of its most colourful characters, but it will provide some relief for markets that have been battered by the routine disagreements around vital legislation, the slow progress of reform and the public disagreements with the finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, that have characterised the prime minister's crisis response.

Having served three terms in office 75-year-old Berlusconi was Italy's longest serving post-war prime minister.

The billionaire media-mogul was first elected as prime minister in 1994 having founded his own political party, Forza Italia. He went on to secure two further victories in 2001 and 2008.

Berlusconi did lose power to left-wing Romano Prodi in 1996 and 2006. But bounced back both times. This time it seems less likely the great survivor of European politics will be able to fashion a return.


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21:07 on 13/11/2011
The rise of the forth Reich
19:20 on 13/11/2011
i think i see a recurring theme here, unelected prime minister in Greece, unelected prime minister and possibly the whole cabinet in Italy, chosen not by the people , but by the Eurozone dictatorship , the people of these countries may think its for the best, to steer their economies in the right direction, But what if it all goes wrong , what if the austerity measures that these so called technocrats come up with are not acceptable to the people of these countries, what if there are demonstrations and these unelected people give the army orders to open fire on protesters, not as far fetched as it may sound. If there is one thing that history teaches us it is that, its far easier to give a dictator power than it is to take it from him !!
19:01 on 13/11/2011
Well another nail in our coffin, the E U has got it all worked out, people in different Countries who they trust to keep the Eu in power OR LOSE THEIR E U PENSIONS, BECAUSE AT AN EARLY DATE THEY WERE E U MINISTERS, ALL FOR ONE ALL FOR POWER IN THE E U.
17:39 on 13/11/2011
A polirtical disaster maker replaced by someon unelected twice into a job
14:12 on 13/11/2011
The 'Sex Sleaze' is barely scratching the surface - Let's hope that now he is no longer Prime Minister, he will be prosecuted & face the consequences of his misdeeds. Italy has finally woken up & smelled the coffee! About time.

Loraine Mercury
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15:17 on 13/11/2011
I spent a lot of time in Italy during the eighties and nineties and totally agree that Berlusconi was never a good choice but at least he was the choice of the Italian people. It would appear that Italy's next prime minister will be Mario Monti who is the favoured candidate of the people controlling the European project rather than the Italian people. Mario Monti is also a leading member of the Bilderberg Group which should send a shiver down everyone's spine regardless of nationality.

If we are to start prosecuting ex prime ministers (and I do believe that Berlusconi may have a case to answer), it may be better to start with the mass murderers such as Bliar and Bush.
08:41 on 13/11/2011
Another media mogul ready for prosecution then?.
I do hope so, but that's just me.
I'll have the coffee, not the KoolAid
07:54 on 13/11/2011
Could not have happened to a bigger arse...well, maybe Arsesad in Syria.
Easy no Man.
06:58 on 13/11/2011
...speaking of Paterno and the Gang
I like to bake.
11:11 on 13/11/2011
What does Joe Paterno have do with this? Are you suggesting that Paterno did nothing about the child sex abuse scandal because he's Italian? What is wrong with you?!
Easy no Man.
13:36 on 13/11/2011
,,no, just remembering .. like MJ.. how we have Pedos in Power Positions.

If a GRoWn mAn catches a pedo w/ a child or "knows" and does nothing...
.. they are made from the same cloth.

.... only two kinds of people, my friend.
A radical leftist with a JS Woodsworth avatar.
04:45 on 13/11/2011
Put a stake in his heart just to make sure.
01:45 on 13/11/2011
finally italy has the chance to prove that it isn't the most useless country in the world.
but judging by their track record from before berlusconi, they'll likely fail.
01:42 on 13/11/2011
There are some, not many, but some among us who do not shudder or recoil at the though of working arbitrarily against the interests of any and all who cross their paths. These are those who are filled with such venom, such bitterness of character that they use belittlement, petty criticism, beratement as weapons against those with true virtue. While the virtuous search out truth, sacrifice for the sake of integrity, and indeed hunt for wisdom and stalk true meaning, these unscrupulous few do quite the opposite. They use every means to attack others, they use every method to deny their own faults, and they spread slander without care. But when confronted, they will be the first to cry for justice, to cry for rule of law, to stand on policy, and to demand enforcement of regulation. They are the first to claim victimhood and wear it as they would vestments of honor. But they fail to recognize that there is penalty for such misconduct. For the conscience, though disabled for a time, cannot be completely negated. Conscience, though seeming to be dead, only sleeps. Once again aroused in them by chance or by charisma of another, it will evoke such self-disdain and such emotional pain that they will experience all that they have inflicted upon others after the fact. And this will be their purgatory, this will be their shame to no end. For this is what they have cultivated in themselve.
01:23 on 13/11/2011
As an Italian woman living abroad, I'm surprised at just HOW brainwashed so many Italians are/have been, listening even to my own relatives, and their arguments that are quite similar to that of many FOX News viewers. They've gotten Berlusca's talking points through all of the media he's controlled, for over 15 years as Italy's PM, and it's had quite the effect on how they view certain matters.
Certainly, I'm thrilled to pieces, that he's gone, but more importantly, how many Italians took to the streets tonight, and actually DID something. For the most part, it feels as though they've been in a state of inertia for at least 30 years or so, so this was a great thing to witness.

Undoubtedly, we'll have his people at the helms for quite some time, and the right wing coalition will mess things up further, until next elections, But, as with all change, it takes time. I'm positive the younger generations will bring about some much needed change in Italy, and we'll see things move in the right direction soon enough.

But for now, Italy has been set free! ;))))
Chris Burgess
Stop the War on Women!
00:56 on 13/11/2011
Seventeen years too late!
00:55 on 13/11/2011
The future of the entire EU rest in the hands of the Greek people, and they're

trying to drag us down with them!
They've already received over 300,000,000,000 (Yes 300bn) Euros of our hard earned

money and they refuse to resolve their own problems. Get more stats on my site:
Pietro Sommavilla
21:39 on 12/11/2011
Finally.. (he was overdue at least 2 years ago);?id=MTE0Njc&img;=1