Pressure Mounts On Italy's Berlusconi To Quit04:59
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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves after a meeting at the G20 summit in Cannes, France on Thursday. (AP)
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi leaves after a meeting at the G20 summit in Cannes, France on Thursday. (AP)

By The ASSOCIATED PRESS

ROME - Italy became the latest target in Europe's financial crisis Monday, as soaring borrowing rates intensified pressure on Premier Silvio Berlusconi to resign and let a new government reform the country's spendthrift ways.

Berlusconi batted away reports that he was considering stepping down in favor of early elections, saying they were "without foundation."

But the prospect of financial disaster was real because of Italy's huge debts and slow growth. Unlike Greece, Ireland and Portugal - the three countries that Europe has already bailed out - Italy's economy could be too large to rescue.

Investors want the government to quickly pass measures to boost growth and cut debt. But defections from Berlusconi's coalition government mean he no longer commands enough loyalty to pass the reforms.

Increasingly, Berlusconi is himself being seen as the problem.

Guest:

  • Andrew Walker, BBC Economics Correspondent

This segment aired on November 7, 2011.

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