By and  on November 8, 2011

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi failed to win a majority in a budget vote Tuesday and agreed to step down once the country adopted economic reforms.

The move makes Berlusconi the highest profile political victim of the two-year old European debt crisis. The colorful prime minister, known for his wild parties and legal troubles, begins his exit as yields on Italian bonds reached yet another high of 6.76 percent.

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