ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER Silvio Berlusconi has denied rumours that he is to resign, even as questions swirl over his ability to deal with the economic crisis.
The controversial leader of Italy has used his Facebook page to issue his only statement on the matter, saying “Le voci di mie dimissioni sono destituite di fondamento”, which translates as:
The rumours of my resignation are groundless
In a sign of the lack of confidence international markets have in Berlusconi’s leadership, stock markets rose significantly as rumours escalated this morning that he was about to resign.
The rumour began when Giuliano Ferraro, a newspaper editor close to Berlusconi commented that it was clear “that Berlusconi is about to step aside. It is a matter of hours, some even say of minutes”, reports the Guardian.
Berlusconi is expected to face a confidence vote on Tuesday, as well as a key budget vote, amid questions over whether he can still command a majority. The Italian government has come under international pressure in recent days over whether it can carry out planned austerity measures and increase stability in the eurozone.
Berlusconi had survived a confidence vote less than one month ago after allies refused to support him amid growing unhappiness with his leadership of the financial crisis.