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Berlusconi nears final act

Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 01:32

Nov. 12 - Italy's parliament debate a series of austerity measures, in what is expected to be Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's last act as leader. Andrew Raven reports.

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Italy's Parliament building. It is here that Silvio Berlusconi will be presiding over what is likely his last act as Prime Minister. Parlementarians are debating, Saturday, a series of austerity measures meant to rescue cash-starved Italy from financial collapse. The embattled Berlusconi - who has been criticized for his handling of Italy's debt crisis - has promised to resign once the measures are passed. Italians - many tired of the budgetary mess and sex scandals surrounding the three-time prime minister - are welcoming the move. SOUNDBITE (Italian) FABIO MARIANI, ROME RESIDENT: "This is a historic change. We have finally turned the page. Let's hope the transition is smooth." EU Comissioner Mario Monti has been tabbed as the most likely successor to Berlusconi - and he could be in place soon, say leaders (SOUNDBITE)(English) OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIAN ROCCO BUTTIGLIONE, FROM UDC PARTY, SAYING: "I imagine in the early morning of Monday we will have a new government or at least a new chief of government that is Mr (Mario) Monti who will have received the task of creating the new government." Berlusconi would leave office faces four separate court cases, including fraud and having sex with a minor. Andrew Raven, Reuters

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Berlusconi nears final act

Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 01:32