Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time prime minister and two-time convicted lawbreaker seems to be the great victor in Italy by out-manoeuvring rivals during an eight-week political stalemate and becoming the key figure in talks for a new coalition government.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano ruled out standing down early to make way for new parliamentary elections, following the failure of attempts to form a government this week. He stressed that Prime Minister Mario Monti retained full authority at the head of a caretaker administration until a new government can be formed
The head of Italy's centre-left bloc has hit an impasse in his efforts to form a government and said only a mentally ill person would want to govern Italy now. Pier Luigi Bersani was rebuffed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement on Wednesday.
Ratings agency Fitch added to Italy's mounting problems this week by cutting its credit rating due to the political uncertainty after last week's election, deep recession and rising debt. Fitch lowered Italy's sovereign rating by one notch to BBB plus, with a negative outlook, raising the risk that its next ratings change will be a further downgrade.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti rowed back from comments suggesting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed opposition to his political rivals on the centre-left days before an election next week.
Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his last great electoral and political battle with a sweeping promise to cut taxes and the cost of government if his centre-right wins elections this month.
Italy's Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday set the tone for his election campaign saying nobody should care about bond spreads, and accused Mario Monti of being too German-centric.
An agreement among Greece's international creditors on reducing its large debt pile should be rooted in reality and not in wishful thinking, the head of the International Monetary Fund said ahead of a tense meeting with European leaders.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his counterpart from Madrid said Spain’s borrowing costs don’t reflect the strength of its economy as they pledged to work toward deeper integration to fight the debt crisis.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will return to frontline politics as the centre-right candidate in next year's general election, a senior official in his PDL party was quoted this week.