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Berlusconi to resign after parliament approves reforms

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Rome, Nov 09 (Agencies) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he will not run if Italy holds early elections.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:30:11 PM
Berlusconi to resign after parliament approves reforms

After failing to secure the majority in a vote in the lower house on November 8, Berlusconi pledged to stand down once parliament passed budget reforms.

The reforms were demanded by European partners to help Italy stave off a debt crisis that is threatening the eurozone. Votes to pass the reforms in both houses of parliament are likely this month.

The announcement was made in a statement by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who met with Berlusconi after a parliamentary vote earlier on November 8 revealed that the long-serving prime minister had lost his majority.

Napolitano's statement said Berlusconi had shown "his awareness of the implications of the results of today's vote" and "concern for the urgent need to give prompt answers to the expectations of European partners."

Berlusconi later confirmed his plans when he called in to his own Canale 5 television channel.

"I think it is crucial to give the priority to the approval of these measures, so I went to see the president after today's vote and I explained to him my idea, which is to ask the opposition to allow a fast-track approval of these stability measures, and after the approval of this finance law, which has amendments for everything that Europe has asked of us and that the eurogroup has requested, I will resign," he said.

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