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Berlusconi Could Be Out Tomorrow Night

Italian Senate Passes Economic Reform Bill
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 11, 2011 9:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Italy's Senate approved crucial economic reforms demanded by the European Union today, the first step in paving the way for Silvio Berlusconi to resign as early as this weekend and a transitional government to be formed. The 156-12 vote took place after respected economist Mario Monti—widely expected to become the interim prime minister—was welcomed with applause in the Senate chamber, where he was officially designated senator for life.

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Italy's president bestowed the title on Monti two days earlier to signal to roiling financial markets that he intended to ask the 68-year-old former European commissioner to try to form a transitional government after Berlusconi leaves office. The reform legislation now passes to the lower Chamber of Deputies, which is expected to vote on it by tomorrow. A Cabinet meeting has been scheduled immediately after the vote, leading to speculation that Berlusconi might tender his resignation to Italy's president as early as tomorrow night. (Read more Italy stories.)

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