News / Europe

Vote Pushes Italian PM Toward Resignation

Henry Ridgwell

Italy, the world's seventh largest economy, is emerging as a new threat to the stability of the 17-country single currency zone. On Tuesday, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano announced that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would resign, following a crucial budget vote in parliament.  He won that vote, but lost the support of a majority of lawmakers.
Prime Minister Berlusconi departed his Rome residence for parliament knowing that the coming hours could decide his future as Italy’s leader.

A procedural vote in the lower house on the budget was used by Berlusconi’s growing number of political opponents to signal the end of his parliamentary majority.

Despite a wide margin in favor, 320 lawmakers did not vote at all.  Opposition leaders claimed victory. "The vote showed that this government does not have a majority, said opposition leader Pierluigi Bersani.

The opposition demanded Berlusconi’s immediate resignation. But, as he has done so many times in his nine years in power, the prime minister initially refused.

Italy has been pummelled by the eurozone debt crisis in recent days. Investors see its deficit, 120 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), as unsustainable.  The yield on Italian bonds, the interest rate Italy must pay to borrow money, soared to nearly 7 percent.

When rates reached similar levels in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, they were forced to seek bailouts from the EU (European Union) and the IMF (International Monetary Fund)
Traders in Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, expressed disappointment that Berlusconi has not already resigned.

"Mr. Berlusconi has proved to be a politician with a long, long life, and, therefore, we are expecting that we have to negotiate more or less with Mr. Berlusconi in the future, and that's why the markets are kind of disappointed because we need stability, and stability with Mr. Berlusconi is not yet guaranteed," said Oliver Roth of Close Brothers Seydler AG.

EU finance ministers met in Brussels to try to find ways of building a firewall around the two-year-old debt crisis. But Europe’s politicians are rapidly being overtaken by events.
Italy is Europe’s third largest economy. A debt crisis there would dwarf the problems caused by Greece.

The message from the markets is that Berlusconi is part of the problem, not the solution.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid