Berlusconi Does Not Attain Absolute Majority
Italian PM Berlusconi today did not attain an absolute majority of Parliament in a routine ballot - he needed 316 votes and received 308 votes - furthering sentiments for his resignation. With a nearly 7% sovereign debt (bonds) interest rate payment obligation, Italy continues to struggle in its effort to convince and calm investors that the country is a viable payor/creditor, and that the economy is improving its position; by comparison, the German 10 year bond coupon rate is 2.25%. Presently the PM's government does not hold a majority. Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, has called on the PM to resign; another confidence vote, or formation of a new unity government, is likely. The U.S. Dow is down about 40 basis points while the Euro Stoxx 50 and FTSE is up over 1.25%.