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IMF to monitor Rome as pressure increases on Berlusconi

IMF to monitor Rome as pressure increases on Berlusconi
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European G20 leaders are pushing Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to make urgent economic reforms. But perhaps his more pressing issue are his attempts to remain in power.

The International Monetary Fund says Rome has agreed to monitoring of its efforts to meet economic targets.

To implement Italy’s reform package Berlusconi has to win next Tuesday’s parliamentary vote on the budget. But he is facing a chorus of calls, even from within his own centre-right party, to step down and make way for a new government.

Some EU leaders are also thought to be exasperated by the Berlusconi government’s failure to shore up its finances and regain the market’s confidence.

Berlusconi has thus far resisted calls for him to step aside. He says the only alternative would be to hold early elections next spring, a step he has described as irresponsible while the crisis continues in the eurozone’s third largest economy.