He confirmed that he intends to resign following a vote on the budget in Italian parliament in which he lost the majority. The current economic situation in Italy as it struggles in the Eurozone debt crisis has put a great deal of pressure on the PM.

“Once this finance law is approved, along with the amendments on everything which Europe has asked of us and which the Eurogroup has asked for, I will resign, so that the head of state can open consultations,” he told viewers on the television channel Canale 5 that forms part of his existing media empire.

Berlusconi plans to leave his position in the next few weeks following the approval of economic reforms. The controversial politician has been under scrutiny in recent years for rumours of widespread bribery and sexual exploits in his private life.

President Giorgio Napolitano will have the final say on whether Berlusconi, who has been in the position of Prime Minister since May 2008, is permitted to resign.

Following the announcement of his intention to resign, the financial markets reacted with the Euro rose against the dollar. Italy is said to be facing similar levels of debt crisis seen in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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