Italy’s Berlusconi faces calls to resign

Marion Dakers
ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing calls from opposition politicians for him to resign over his handling of the country’s mounting debt crisis.

Though Italian bond yields dropped to just above five per cent yesterday following the European Central Bank’s intervention in the market, the opposition accused Berlusconi of surrendering sovereignty to EU authorities.

And the head of Italy’s biggest trade union federation demanded to know what strings are attached to the ECB’s move to buy an estimated €2bn in Spanish and Italian bonds.

It is thought that the ECB had demanded Italy fast-track reforms and budget measures to reduce a large debt burden in return for the deal, agreed late on Sunday.

Berlusconi and Economy minister Giulio Tremonti have previously announced that there would be no extra austerity measures on top of a €48bn cuts plan passed last month.