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Crunch time in Italy and Greece

8 November 2011

11:59 AM

8 November 2011

11:59 AM

Reports of Silvio Berlusconi’s imminent resignation yesterday may have been exaggerated,
but it remains to be seen how greatly. He faces a big test today, in the form of a crucial vote on the Italian budget. Berlusconi has proved adept at surviving such confidence votes throughout his
time as Prime Minister, but today’s opposition may be too much even for him. In the words of Italian academic Roberto D’Alimonte to the Telegraph:

"Nobody knows what the result will be, I think even Berlusconi doesn’t know."

In the last few minutes, Umberto Bossi – the leader of Berlsuconi’s coalition partners Lega Nord – has said that he called on the Prime Minister to step down. This further weakens Berlusconi’s position ahead of the vote,
suggesting that he may be on his way out after all.

Meanwhile in Greece, there has been no agreement as yet on a successor to George Papandreou. The Guardian reports that Lucas Papademos – the favourite to take over – is relectant to assume the role because,
with new elections looming, he fears "he will be nothing more than a puppet PM". But the Telegraph suggests that this obstacle may be cleared with opposition Antonis Samaras reportedly agreeing to serve in the
coalition cabinet – something he’d previously refused to do.


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