Addio Berlusconi!

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned over the weekend, in the midst of a major debt crisis in Italy. Rising interest rates and a market downturn finally forced Berlusconi to step down after passing austerity measures. La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, BBC, and the New York Times reported Berlusconi’s resignation and have full coverage of the political transition.

Crowds gathered in Rome and other cities across Italy to celebrate the end of Berlusconi’s government. La Repubblica reports on the celebrations, which included a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and cries of “Buffone! Buffone!” directed at Berlusconi.

Mario Monti, an economist, has been appointed by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to head a technocratic government. Sylvia Poggioli of NPR reports on Mario Monti’s attempts to form a new government. Meanwhile, columnist Beppe Severgnini, of Corriere della Sera, provides a commentary on the meaning of Berlusconi’s resignation for Italian society and politics.

Many Italians are bidding “Addio Berlusconi!” — goodbye to Silvio Berlusconi, his bunga-bunga scandals, and his corrupt politics. Italian politics remains in crisis, but new possibilities and new directions seem to be opening up.

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