Silvio Berlusconi vows to resign as Italy’s prime minister

Silvio Berlusconi attends a voting session at the Italian lower chamber. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to resign as Italy‘s prime minister in a long-delayed move that doomed his third government and appeared to foreshadow the end of the media tycoon’s eventful and frequently scandalous 17-year career in politics.

The 75-year-old billionaire, the Italian republic’s longest-serving prime minister, went to see the head of state, president Giorgio Napolitano, after watching his following in the lower house of parliament fall well below the number required for an outright majority. His control of parliament had become a crucial element in the eurozone’s raging debt crisis as investors in Italy’s debt fretted over the country’s ability to implement the austerity measures needed to cut its deficit.

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Categories: Italy

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