Clarissa Tan

Berlusconi may quit presto

Berlusconi may quit presto
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The word sweeping across Italy is that the PM may be forced to step down in a matter of hours, even "minutes". Ex-minister Giuliano Ferrara says:

"That Silvio Berlusconi is about to resign is clear. It is a question of hours, some say of minutes."

News of Berlusconi's imminent resignation has sent Italian stocks soaring though – the FTSE MIB is up 2.4 per cent.

Berlusconi's scandal-ridden premiership and bunga-bunga antics have caused political deadlock in Rome and stalled the path of much-needed economic reform.

Still, with Papandreou's "will he? won't he?" saga stretching out across several days, it may take more than a few minutes for Berlusconi, who has put on a show of bravado in past days, to pack his bags. Some political observers put the latest at tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: Reuters are now reporting that Berlusconi says claims that he will resign are "unfounded".