On the eve of a crucial vote in Parliament, The Post’s Anthony Faiola reports that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been plunged into the “deepest political crisis of his two-decade long career.”
“A political Houdini who has thus far survived everything from allegedly playing host at sex parties to accusations of corruption during his opera plot-like tenure, Berlusconi, 75, was facing unprecedented pressure to resign on Monday,” Faiola reports.
Berlusconi took to Facebook to deny reports of his resignation Monday, calling them “baseless.”
The news comes a day after a deal was made by Greece’s two main political parties that will force Prime Minister George Papandreou to resign.
On Sunday, it what appeared to be an attempt to stave off defections from his party, as Papandreou had seen, Berlusconi wrote on Facebook:
In bad times, in all great democracies, parties strive to find points of convergence to overcome an emergency, despite the distinction between majority and opposition: this is now also required by us.
Despite Berlusconi’s efforts, rebels from his own party have begun to defect. Twitter satirist Carl Maxim wrote:
And a former spokesman for Berlusconi, Giuliano Ferrara, posted a video on the Web site of the small Italian newspaper “Il Foglio,” in which he said the prime minister would resign within “hours” if not “minutes.” Watch the video here. At left, see the headline “Il Foglio” is running.
The prime minister is believed to now be meeting with his family and attorney, and an executive of his media empire outside Milan to decide a course of action.
A technical budget vote Tuesday is expected to show how much support Berlusconi has lost within his own party. The outcome could spur a vote of confidence that would force the prime minister to resign.
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