After barely surviving a confidence vote last month, Silvio Berlusconi may be poised to step down as Italy’s prime minister as soon as today, at least according to two journalists. "That Silvio Berlusconi is about to resign is clear. It is a question of hours, some say of minutes," says an editor with close ties to the PM. But the PM himself denied the chatter on Facebook, writing, "Rumors of my resignation are baseless," reports Reuters. Meanwhile, other insiders tell the Wall Street Journal that Berlusconi will meet with his family and the head of Italy’s top TV broadcaster today to make a decision.
Alternatively, he could head to Parliament tomorrow to face a budget vote. But the vote could prove his majority is a thing of the past, and members of his crumbling party are encouraging him to resign, Businessweek notes. Three former allies have left his coalition since last week, with a dozen more poised to head for the door. "Berlusconi may still be in office, but he has not been in power for some time," says an analyst. "He no longer administers." Markets jumped on the news of the PM’s possible exit.