Silvio Berlusconi promised today to resign after parliament passes economic reforms demanded by the European Union—which could happen as soon as next week—capping a two-decade political career that has ended with Italy on the brink of being swept into Europe's debt crisis. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano met for about an hour with Berlusconi after the premier lost his parliamentary majority during a routine vote earlier today.
In a statement, Napolitano's office said Berlusconi had promised during the meeting to resign once the economic reforms have passed parliament; a vote on the measures is planned for next week. Berlusconi, 75, had previously resisted pleas to step down as a way to calm the markets. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)