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Italian PM Berlusconi formally resigns (2)


10:58, November 13, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi rubs his nose during a vote on the austerity measures for 2012 at the lower house of parliament in Rome, Italy, Nov. 12, 2011. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned Saturday night after a package of austerity measures demanded by the European Union (EU) was passed in both chambers of Italian parliament, the ANSA news agency reported. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)

Should such efforts fail, the Italian president would dissolve the parliament and call snap elections.

Highly-respected economist and former European commissioner Mario Monti was nominated Wednesday by the president as a senator for life, which was widely seen as a clear indication that he would be the most probable choice to replace Berlusconi as the premier of an emergency technocrat government.

Monti met on Saturday in Rome with the new president of the ECB Mario Draghi before having a two-hour meeting with Berlusconi.

The People of Freedom Party, which is led by Berlusconi and holds the most seats in both chambers of parliament, said later on Saturday that it would support Monti as new premier, according to local news agency Ansa.

Monti had also won supports from Italian major opposition parties including the Democratic Party, Italy's largest opposition party.

Berlusconi, a successful entrepreneur and one of the richest men in Italy, graduated in Law at University of Milan in 1961, and shortly after began his career in the building construction field.

In 1973 he started the media business, and five years later he formed his first media group Fininvest, which holds today the largest Italian private TV network. He is also the owner of one of the world's leading football clubs, AC Milan.

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