Berlusconi's People of Freedom party formally withdrew support from current Prime Minister Mario Monti because he feels Monti's austerity measures, ones put in place to try and help Italy out of the mountain of debt Berlusconi left it with, have only done harm to Italy's economy. Monti brushed off the loss off the loss of support and said it was, "manageable." Monti should be surprised. Berlusconi warned this day would come in the summertime.
The expectation is Monti will loss a confidence vote sometime in the near future, paving the way for elections early next year. Berlusconi resigned over the government's decision to implement austerity measures against his wishes just a little over a year ago.
Because Berlusconi's party could not find a leader as well known as the former PM, they decided to settle with the devil they know. Berlusconi told reporters Saturday he would seek re-election when the opportunity comes, despite not missing being Prime Minister "not even for a minute." To hear Berlusconi tell it, he's coming back out of a "sense of responsibility," for the Italian people. We can see the campaign posters now, "Berlosconi cares."
Of course, it won't be easy for Berlusconi's campaign managers. He'll be seeking reelection while appealing that one year jail sentence (that was originally a four year sentence) he received earlier this year for tax evasion, and while facing separate charges for soliciting underage prostitutes related to his infamous "bunga bunga" parties. The AP also notes he "faces plunging poll numbers."
Like we said, Italian tabloid editors are popping champagne bottles right now.
Update: Monti is now saying he'll resign if the Parliament can't pass a budget:
If the budget law can be passed "quickly", Monti said he would immediately confirm his resignation. Monti's announcement came after a two-hour meeting with Napolitano, who has the power to dissolve parliament.
Basically, he's putting Berlusconi on blast and making it look like the turmoil is Berlusconi's fault:
Berlusconi didn't want to be seen as forcing Monti to resign, with this move Monti has ensured that Berlusconi gets the blame. #Italy— Alberto Nardelli (@AlbertoNardelli) December 8, 2012