Berlusconi loses crucial majority in parliament - Rome
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's future hangs by a thread after he failed to garner an absolute majority in parliament and borrowing rates hit a record high. Rome, Italy. 8th November 2011
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's future hung by a thread on Tuesday after he failed to garner an absolute majority in parliament and borrowing rates hit a record high.The embattled 75-year-old won a vote on Italy's 2010 public accounts - a precondition for the approval of any future budgets - by 308 votes in favour with one abstention after the opposition refused to vote.
The result was below the absolute majority of 316 seats required for a stable government, leaving the centre-right coalition in an extremely weak position.
"The government no longer has a majority in this chamber," Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, said after the vote.
Addressing Berlusconi, he added: "Hand in your resignation."