Italian Prime Minister Resigns

Kathleen Abenes, Web Editor

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, resigned on Saturday amidst the country’s ongoing financial crisis. Berlusconi’s resignation marks the end of an era in Italian politics. The 75-year-old has been a dominant force in Italy since he formed the Forza Italia party in 1994. Berlusconi was elected to the office three times but said he has no intentions of running again.

Berlusconi stepped down as prime minister hours after measures aimed at restoring confidence in Italy’s economy were passed. His resignation came days after he failed to win a parliamentary majority on a budget vote, which should have been routine.

During Berlusconi’s time in office, he faced many charges, including corruption, but has not been sentenced to jail. Yet his failure to win a majority and tackle Italy’s debt crisis brought him down.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, whose role is largely ceremonial, held talks aimed at forming a new government. Ex-European commissioner and economist Mario Monti was nominated to replace Berlusconi as prime minister. Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he supports Napolitano’s plan of an emergency government led by Monti.

Monti told reporters that he will do his best to improve Italy’s economy and will work to provide a better future to Italy’s children. Italy has the third-largest economy among countries using the Euro, thus a meltdown would have a massive impact on the global markets.