Silvio Berlusconi Resigns
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has resigned.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the longest-serving leader in postwar Italy, resigned Tuesday to make way for a center-left government led by Romano Prodi that must re-energize a moribund economy. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi asked Berlusconi to remain on as caretaker prime minister during their 30-minute meeting at the Quirinale Palace. “The president of the republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, has met this morning with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who has handed in the resignation of the Cabinet over which he presides,” the president’s office said in a statement.
Berlusconi, leader of the conservatives elected in 2001, had steadfastly refused to concede defeat since the nation’s April 9-10 elections.
Berlusconi’s tenure is remarkable in postwar Italian politics, which has been an international laughing stock for its ridiculous propensity for collapsed governments.