Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi officially resigned today after weeks of refusing to concede defeat in April 9-10 elections. Berlusconi, the largest media owner in Italy, has had a stranglehold on the country’s media, but even an all-out television blitz could not convince the public to ignore a failing economy, which the new center-left government must now revive.

The Washington Post:

Italian Leader Berlusconi Resigns

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO The Associated Press Tuesday, May 2, 2006; 8:56 AM

ROME — Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the longest-serving leader in postwar Italy, resigned Tuesday to make way for a center-left government led by Romano Prodi that must re-energize a moribund economy.

President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi asked Berlusconi to remain on as caretaker prime minister during their 30-minute meeting at the Quirinale Palace. link

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