Monti named to head new Italy government

Italy's president appointed former European Commissioner Mario Monti on Sunday to head a new government charged with implementing urgent reforms to end a crisis that has endangered the whole euro zone.

Italian PM Berlusconi formally resigns

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi handed in his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday, according to a statement issued by Italian President Palace.

About Berlusconi

    Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan in 1936. He was raised there in a middle-class family. He is the current Prime Minister of Italy, since 8 May 2008, who has also served previous terms, from 1994 to 1995 and from 2001 to 2006 . A conservative Italian politician, prior to his entry in politics, Berlusconi was well-known as a wealthy business-owner.

The Italian debt crisis

    Italy has been deeply indebted for years, and its woes have generated a burst of investor panic in recent days amid concerns of political infighting in Rome over budget cuts. The nation’s borrowing costs have skyrocketed to dangerous levels.

    On Monday, initial signs of Italy being swept up in the crisis contributed to the biggest global stock sell-off since March.

The Eurozone sovereign debt

Timeline: major crisises facing Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister

November 2010: Reports emerge of a teenage nightclub dancer attending parties at Berlusconi's private residence
   “His office intervening with police to help her over theft accusations. He shrugs off the criticism, saying: "It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”[More]
February 14,2011: Berlusconi says he has no intention of stepping down
    He dismisses a February 13 demonstration by women across Italy over his involvement in a sex scandal. [More]
September 20, 2011: Standard and Poor's lowers its credit rating on Italy
   Standard & Poor warned of deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty. Moody's and Fitch make similar cuts in October.[More]
Nov 8, 2011 - Failed to secure a majority in a parliamentary vote.
    President Giorgio Napolitano says the prime minister agrees to resign once a new financing law is passed.[More]