Will Berlusconi follow in Papandreou's footsteps?

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a bilateral meeting before the start of the G20 Summit on November 3, 2011 in Cannes, France.

Jeremy Hobson: Well as we adjusted our clocks back one hour
Saturday night, Greece was preparing to move forward to a new government. They'll have a new prime minister to steer the bailout package through. But just as Greece moves forward, Italy moves back into trouble. And the Italian leader, Silvio Berlusconi, may be about to go the way of the soon to be former prime minister of Greece.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard explains.

Stephen Beard: The Greeks gave us all the words we use to talk about crisis: like "disaster" and "catastrophe." The Romans meanwhile gave us a short,sharp word expressing finality: "exit ", meaning "he leaves." This word could soon come into play in modern Rome.

Prime Minister Berlusconi could be about to quit the political stage. He has to pass the E.U.'s controversial bailout package through his parliament. But tomorrow he faces a vote which could -- as in Greece -- trigger a vote of confidence.

If so, he likely lose and be forced to resign, says Vincenzo Scarpetta of the Open Europe think tank:. And if he resigns the rest of Europe will breathe a sigh of relief.

Vincenzo Scarpetta: In the eyes of Europe, in the eyes of the market, the problem is Berlusconi. It's just a matter of credibility.

But he says even if Berlusconi does resign the crisis seems likely to rumble on.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation