On this day in 2011

On this day in 2011, Silvio Berlusconi tendered his resignation as Prime Minister of Italy, effective November 16, due in large part to the European sovereign debt crisis.

The European debt crisis, often also referred to as the Eurozone crisis or the European sovereign debt crisis is a multi-year debt crisis that has been taking place in the European Union since the end of 2009.

Several eurozone member states which include GreecePortugalIrelandSpain and Cyprus, were unable to repay or refinance their government debt or to bail out over-indebted banks under their national supervision without the assistance of third parties like other Eurozone countries, the European Central Bank (ECB), or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The detailed causes of the debt crisis varied.

In several countries, private debts arising from a property bubble were transferred to sovereign debt as a result of banking system bailouts and government responses to slowing economies post-bubble.

Besides the Eurozone crisis, Berlusconi had also failed to meet some of his pre-election promises and had failed to prevent economic decline and introduce serious reforms.

Many believed that the problems and doubts over Berlusconi’s leadership and his coalition were one of the factors that contributed to market anxieties over an imminent Italian financial disaster, which could have a potentially catastrophic effect on the 17-nation eurozone and the world economy.

Many critics of Berlusconi accused him of using his power primarily to protect his own business ventures.

On 12 November 2011, after a final meeting with his cabinet, Berlusconi met Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Palazzo del Quirinale to tend his resignation.

In the following years Berlusconi often expressed his point of view regarding his resignation in 2011.

He accused Angela MerkelNicolas SarkozyChristine Lagarde and Giorgio Napolitano, along with other global economic and financial powers, to have plotted against him and forced him to resign, because he refused to accept a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which according to him, would have sold the country to the IMF.

This theory was confirmed by the former Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

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