Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Vows to Resign

Wed, 11/09/2011 - 05:08

After taking to Facebook to deny resignation rumors on Monday, Silvio Berlusconi vowed on Tuesday that he will step down as Italy’s prime minister.

A key vote that took place on Tuesday regarding 2010 budget approval only garnered support from 308 members of the prime minister’s coalition, out of a total of 630 members of parliament. The vote passed, but fell short of securing a clear majority.

When it became clear that he did not have a majority support in the government, a glum looking Berlusconi left the chambers of parliament and met with President Giorgio Napolitano to discuss his conditional resignation.

After meeting with Napolitano, the premier announced that he would resign as soon as austerity measures were passed. The austerity package, designed to tackle Italy’s looming debt crisis, is due to be voted on in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday. Experts suggest that such measures would take 10 to 15 days to officially clear, meaning Mr. Berlusconi could surrender his role in the government in late November.

Mr. Berlusconi told the media that "things like who leads or who doesn't lead the government" was secondary to doing "what is best for the country”.

There is no clear scenario for how the resignation will play out but experts predict that Berlusconi will either appoint a successor from his own party when he steps aside, or President Giorgio Napolitano will dissolve parliament and call for early elections.

However a new leader is selected, it appears that Berlusconi's 17-year scandal filled stint as prime minister will soon come to an end.