From the eye of the storm, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is heading towards the exit. His departure may be just days away.
The Italian Senate is likely to approve his austerity budget by Friday, and the lower house says it will sit on Saturday to vote on the bill.
Italy will have a new leader as Berlusconi vowed to resign if the bill passes.
“We need decisions quickly, and as we go along, over the next few years we must give a sense of a renewed responsibility and cohesion to the nation,” said Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
The president has said the only two viable options are either a strong government, or early elections. On Wednesday night the lights were burning in the prime minister’s residence as Berlusconi found himself, perhaps for the last time, in the thick of things, preparing his succession.