Pressure is piling on Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi to quit.
A rally in Rome, called by the country’s main opposition, the Democratic Party, drew thousands from around the country.
Much of the press has turned on the prime minister and even pro-government newspapers admitted his situation was looking desperate after the humiliation of the G20 summit.
The Democratic Party leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, could not have made it clearer. “Berlusconi should go home,” he said, prompting a roar of approval from the crowd.
“Either he goes alone or we send him home, in Parliament or through elections. But he has to go home”.
The fact that the International Monetary Fund will now be monitoring the implementation of Italy’s reform pledges is the final embarrasment for many.
“We are not credible. I’m ashamed of how other European countries see us,” said one man. “It is pitiful. This man (Berlusconi), this marionette, must go away”.
Despite the protest, Berlusconi again declared he has no intention of standing down, saying it is his duty to stay on.
But he faces yet another confidence vote in Parliament on Tuesday and, with more coalition partners jumping ship, analysts estimate he is currently 15 votes short of winning it.