It is feared that Italy, the eurozone’s third biggest economy, could become the next victim of the debt crisis. Silvio Berlusconi faces a crunch vote on public finance on Tuesday. Rebel MP’s in his own party look set to unseat him.
Mr Berlusconi denied on Facebook reports that he was about to resign.
Stock markets across Europe bounced up on the chance of the Italian premier’s departure but returned to negative territory at Monday’s close. It is a bit rough for Silvios’political career when the finance markets think him going is a positive thing. It might hurt his feelings.
Concerns over Italy are starting to overshadow developments in Greece, where Prime Minister George Papandreou has agreed to stand down.
Mr Papandreou sealed a deal with the opposition to form a new coalition government to approve an EU-IMF bailout package.
Once the vote has been passed, it will open the way for Greece to receive the next 8bn euro tranche of bailout loans.
The markets are becoming increasingly sceptical about Italy’s ability to repay its debt.
Pressure is growing on Mr Berlusconi, with the opposition also preparing a vote which is being seen as one of no confidence in the prime minister.
Ah Silvio it must seem like a long time ago now when your days were filled with wild parties and underage hookers.