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A rallying call for Berlusconi to step down

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A rallying call for Berlusconi to step down

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Several hundred people marched through Florence on Saturday, to make their feelings for the government of Silvio Berlusconi clear.

Growing numbers of protests are springing up around Italy, as the scandals surrounding the Prime Minister refuse to go away.

Berlusconi is resisting calls to quit over allegations of under-age sex and abuse of power. He has denied any wrongdoing.

In Berlusconi’s home city of Milan the gathering was more star-studded.

Authors Roberto Saviano and Umberto Eco were joined by thousands of activists who urged Berlusconi to resign.

Eco likened Berlusconi to Hosni Mubarak, the under-pressure President of Egypt. Neither of them want to go, he says.

“Anyone who criticises the government knows that he will pay the price for it.” saic Saviano, who himself is clearly not averse to risk.

Resign in the name of a free and just Italy they say.

But polls suggest Berlusconi’s conservative voter base has largely shrugged off this latest scrutiny.