For European Union and the Euro, a Moment of Truth – NYTimes.com

La finestra di opportunità per salvare l’euro si sta rapidamente chiudendo …

Sabato la crisi ha spazzato via un altro leader: Berlusconi ha rassegnato le dimissioni, dopo aver dominato la scena politica italiana per 17 anni, tra i frizzi e i lazzi della folla romana.

For European Union and the Euro, a Moment of Truth – NYTimes.com

The window of opportunity to save the euro is rapidly closing, as the sovereign debt crisis erodes the solvency of Europe’s banks and drives up borrowing rates for even once rock-solid countries like France.

On Saturday, the crisis swept away another leader, when Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned after 17 years of dominance in Italian politics to the jeers and cheers of crowds in Rome.

* * *

Il Paese spazzato dalla bufera della crisi del debito, un capoitale politico imponenete dissipato: le dimissioni di Berlusconi segnano la fine di una settimana tumultuosa ma anche di un’era. “Il momento più difficile della nostra storia recente” secondo il direttore del Corriere della sera.

Ma in tutta Europa le turbolenze dei mercati finanziari hanno di fatto sospeso i tradizionali processi democratici.

Berlusconi Resigns After Italy’s Parliament Approves Austerity Measures – NYTimes.com

With his country swept up in Europe’s debt crisis and his once-mighty political capital spent, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned on Saturday, punctuating a tumultuous week and ending an era in Italian politics.

His exit, a sudden fall after months of political stalemate, paves the way for a new government of technocrats led by Mario Monti, a former member of the European Commission. Mr. Monti is likely to be installed in the next few days, following the apparent consent of key blocs of Mr. Berlusconi’s center-right coalition.

His resignation came just days after the fall of Prime Minister George A. Papandreou in Greece. Both men were swept away amid a larger crisis that has threatened the entire European Union, in which roiling financial markets have upended traditional democratic processes.

Though it was met by cheering crowds in Rome, the end of Mr. Berlusconi’s 17-year chapter in Italian politics, characterized by his defiance and fortitude, sets off a jarring political transition. “This is the most dramatic moment of our recent history,” Ferruccio de Bortoli, the editor of the Milan daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, said Saturday.

After borrowing rates on Italian bonds soared last week to levels that have required other euro zone countries to seek bailouts, Mr. Berlusconi pledged to step down after the Italian Parliament approved austerity measures sought by the European Union.

The lower house gave their final approval to some of the measures on Saturday afternoon, and two hours later, he officially submitted his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano.

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