- Title: ITALY: Vote clears way for Berlusconi resignation
- Date: 13th November 2011
- Summary: PROTESTERS SHOUTING "GET OUT, GET OUT"
- Embargoed: 28th November 2011 12:00
- Location: Italy, Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAF0H8O9HJLM4WJUGYDOBJN8S5B
- Story Text: Italy's parliament gave final approval to a financial stability law on Saturday (November 12), paving the way for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign and make way for an emergency government headed by former European Commissioner Mario Monti.
Berlusconi, who failed to secure a majority in a crucial vote on Tuesday, promised to resign once parliament passed the package of economic reforms, demanded by European partners to restore confidence in Italy's strained public finances.
"It's a feeling of liberation, now we can begin a new story," said one opposition politician, as protesters against Berlusconi shouted for him to resign.
Santo Versace from Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party lamented the end of the Prime Minister's dynasty.
"An era has come to an end, today has signalled the end of Berlusconi's dynasty."
Berlusconi is due to hand in his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano after a cabinet meeting that will mark the final act of the Berlusconi government and bring an end to one of the most scandal-plagued eras in Italy's post-war history.
Francesco Rutelli, the head of the Centrist Alliance for Italy party, said it was over.
"Yes it's over, the president will now, even by tomorrow night, ask for someone who is very highly regarded internationally, he will ask this person to put together a government that is mainly technical, with a wide support from the parliament,"
Napolitano is expected to ask Monti to try to form a new administration to face a widening financial crisis which has sent Italy's debt costs to unmanageable levels and threatened to escalate into an emergency across the whole euro zone.
With the next elections not due until 2013, a technocrat government could have about 18 months to pass painful economic reforms but will need to secure the backing of a majority in parliament and could fall before then.
Italy, the euro zone's third largest economy, came close to disaster this week after yields on 10 year bonds soared over 7.6 percent, the kind of level which forced Ireland, Portugal and Greece to seek an international bailout.
With a public debt of more than 120 percent of gross domestic product and more than a decade of anaemic economic growth behind it, Italy is at the heart of the euro zone debt crisis and would be too big for the bloc to bail out.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None