Berlusconi in last-ditch fight for power

PM denies he will resign

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is denying reports stating he would resign on Monday or Tuesday. Stocks traded on the Milan bourse soared earlier today when two pro-Berlusconi newspapers ran headlines announcing that the PM was about to leave the political stage. Now, though, new reports suggest Berlusconi will go ahead with plans to push a package of EU-backed economic reforms through parliament. Though he’s expected to survive in the Senate, it’s not clear whether he still musters a majority in the lower chamber, where the opposition could call for a confidence vote. Investors reacted to news that Berlusconi would try to hold on to power by sending bond yields back up to near euro-era record heights, at 6.6 per cent. Behavior on the Milan stock exchange, writes Financial Times Rome correspondent Guy Dinmore, “indicates that Italy has a Berlusconi problem more than a fundamental problem.”

The Financial Times