Key political figures visited Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday evening, as there was still no formal announcement of his resignation.
The guests at his Rome residence included his chief of staff Gianni Letta and his party secretary Angelino Alfano.
Berlusconi’s PDL party remain split over whether to support his probable successor Mario Monti. Some analysts suggest the divisions could lead to some members switching to other parties.
With some PDL MPs eager to go to the polls, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said ‘the country needs reforms, not elections’.
Visiting Berlusconi and Italian president Georgio Napolitano, the EC President stressed the importance of austerity reforms necessary to improve Italy’s finances.
A well-regarded economist like Mario Monti may be the best man for the prime minister job now the stability law is on its way to passing and tough cuts will have to be made.
A group called Rebel Dragons planned to occupy the Finance Ministry in Rome in protest against the proposed reforms. Over 100 of them gathered outside the building on Friday, which was heavily guarded by riot police and cordoned off.