News / Europe

Berlusconi Promises to Resign After Economic Reforms

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (File)
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (File)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says that he will resign after parliament passes crucial economic reforms aimed at stabilizing Italy's economy.  

Berlusconi made the announcement Tuesday after he lost parliamentary majority during a vote on a routine budget measure in the lower house, with seven ruling party members defecting.  The measure passed with 308 votes in favor, but 321 deputies abstained from voting.

After more than half the 630-seat chamber parliament refused to vote, the opposition called for Berlusconi to step down.  The beleaguered prime minister acknowledged that the lower house was paralyzed, while noting his coalition still has a majority in the Senate.   

Berlusconi is under the pressure by the eurozone leaders to pass a cost-reducing budget and avoid a financial crisis like the one in Greece.  Both houses of parliament are expected to vote on his budget reforms this month.

On Wednesday, Italy's 10-year bond yield topped 7 percent.

The prime minister reiterated Wednesday that he will step down as soon as the budget law is passed.  Berlusconi also told Italy's La Stampa newspaper that he sees Italy holding elections in early 2012.  He will not seek office in the next election.  

Berlusconi has picked former justice minister Angelino Alfano as his party's candidate for the prime minister's post.   

Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the seventh largest in the world.  But it faces potential economic crisis caused by a ballooning public debt.

Italy's borrowing costs have increased to their highest level since it joined the common euro currency zone and are now close to the 7 percent level that pushed Ireland, Portugal and Greece to seek bailout loans.

The debt crisis sweeping the Eurozone has put pressure on Berlusconi's government to move quickly to enact unpopular austerity reforms to protect the Italian economy.

But Emiliano Alessandri of the German Marshall Fund in the United States says even if Berlusconi left office, Italy's problems would remain.

He says the idea Italy's structural problems will be solved by Berlusconi's political demise alone is "wishful thinking."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid