Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation as Prime Minister prompted an all night party in Italy. Thousands of opponents poured into the centre of Rome to rejoice at what they see as the end of an era marked by scandal and financial profligacy that has brought the EU’s third largest economy to its knees.
But while those who wanted him out are celebrating, they know there are difficult times ahead.
Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the Democratic Party, said: “Clearly it is a moment of great satisfaction, then starting tomorrow we will have to face many problems but we will finally start working on them.”
However not everyone is happy about Berlusconi’s resignation, and his supporters were also out on the streets, albeit in fewer numbers.
“It’s a scandal that he had to resign because some lawmakers betrayed him,” said one man. “These lawmakers were elected with Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party. This government is the one that people elected.”
Whatever the divided opinion on Berlusconi it is goodbye to one of Europe’s most colourful leaders.