Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s 17 Years Are Over.

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Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation was accepted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and it is likely that Mario Monti will succeed him. Berlusconi follows former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou as the latest casualty of the euro zone financial crisis. Berlusconi was unable to pass key financial austerity measures earlier this week, signaling a loss of a governing majority, and it has been rumored his resignation was imminent. Berlusconi’s era will likely be remembered for his many scandals. The austerity package passed by the Italian parliament increased the VAT tax by 1%, secured a freeze on public sector salaries until 2014 as well as creating special taxes on the energy sector and increasing measures to fight tax evasion. Italian debt is 120% of its GDP and if it were to be thrown into a financial tailspin its negative effects on the wider euro zone and world economy would be much greater than that of Greece’s.