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September 25, 2021

Protesters rally against Berlusconi in Rome

The Italian Premier has no intention to resign, vote of confidence this week. President Giorgio Napolitano has warned of a “grave crisis of credibility.”

ROME – Tens of thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Rome Saturday to voice their opposition to the government of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and its reforms, CNN reports. Many of the protesters, waving opposition party flags as they filled a central square in a peaceful rally, called for Berlusconi to step aside.

Some say they want immediate elections, others the formation of a technocratic transitional government to guide Italy through the difficult months to come. Berlusconi said Friday at the G-20 economic summit that Italy had agreed to let the International Monetary Fund “certify” its reform program, a step designed to boost investor confidence.

But he faces a vote of confidence perhaps as soon as next week, amid criticism of his handling of Italy’s economy – and analysts say he may no longer have the support of a majority in parliament.

A crucial vote on budget reform measures is expected in Rome Tuesday.

Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano has warned of a “grave crisis of credibility” regarding Italy’s commitment to reform and said structural reforms agreed to in Brussels last month must be implemented.

Anger after floods claim 16 lives

A huge clean-up operation is underway in the Italian port city of Genoa after the worst floods in 40 years left six people dead, including two schoolgirls, euronews reports.

Over a third of the average annual rainfall fell in just six hours on Friday. Angry residents are criticising the authorities for keeping schools open and not banning traffic, arguing that lives could have been saved if that had happened. Some are blaming the city’s mayor. 16 people have died in floods in Italy in the past week, including 10 in the Tuscan area of Lunigiana.

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