Berlusconi wins vote but loses majority, asked to quit

November 9th, 2011 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

Rome, Nov 8 (IANS) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his majority in the lower house of parliament in a crucial vote on a financial bill on Tuesday.

Berlusconi received less than half the votes in the chamber, as a total of 308 deputies voted in favour and one abstention, which means that the vote was approved but below the 316 needed for a solid majority, reported Xinhua. There are a total of 630 seats in the chamber.

The opposition did not vote on the measure, while some deputies from the premier’s own coalition defected ahead of the vote.

On Tuesday Berlusconi’s leading political ally asked the premier to resign ahead of the vote.”We asked him to step aside,” Umberto Bossi, leader of the conservative Northern League party in the ruling coalition said outside parliament.

Berlusconi is under growing pressure to resign as the international markets lose confidence in the country’s ability to reform amid mounting financial problems.

The crisis intensified on Tuesday morning as yields of Italy’s 10-year bond peaked at 6.74 percent, a record high.

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