Expectations that respected economist Mario Monti will lead a new interim Italian government helped calm market fears Thursday as the country was heading for a Greek-style crisis that would threaten the existence of the entire eurozone.
Financial markets pounded Italy on Wednesday as investors hoped that Premier Silvio Berlusconi would not linger in office and delay reforms. Italy's president responded by declaring there was no doubt that Mr. Berlusconi would leave soon, appearing to soothe investors.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that his decision to resign after parliament passes economic reforms is for the good of the country and to settle financial markets that have lost confidence in Italy's ability to rein in debt and spur growth.
Pressure mounted on Premier Silvio Berlusconi to resign so a new government could pass the economic reforms Italy needs to avoid financial disaster.