Silvio Berlusconi Promises to Resign as Italy PM
Silvio Berlusconi to Resign if Italy Passes Austerity Measures
Silvio Berlusconi has promised to resign as Prime Minister of Italy, hours after his party failed to secure a majority in Parliament. Berlusconi said he would step down once the government passes a package of austerity measures demanded by the EU.
Italy is threatened by a debt crisis similar to that of Greece. By replacing Silvio Berlsuconi as PM, the Italian government has a better chance of getting the public to swallow new austerity measures: Berlusconi had a habit of raising taxes on the middle class while letting the upper classes slide.
Of course, Berlusconi could run again in an upcoming election if he were so inclined. That said, he was under pressure from within his own party and from coalition partners.
The new budget laws are meant to pass by the end of November, but that timeline could be stepped up.
The budget vote came hours after Umberto Bossi, a key ally in Mr. Berlusconi’s center-right coalition, publicly asked him to step aside for the sake of the country, the euro zone’s third-largest economy and a new epicenter of a crisis that has raised investor anxiety in markets around the world.