Italy on the Brink as Berlusconi Faces Crucial Vote

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi delivers a speech during a debate at the Senate on December 13, 2010 in Rome, Italy. Berlusconi is facing a vote of no confidence from the Italian Parliament. (Franco Origlia/Getty)

The twin political and fiscal disasters of Greece's sovereign debt crisis have spread to Italy, Europe's third largest economy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition has crumbled ahead of a crucial budget vote scheduled for Tuesday, and a key ally has demanded his resignation. Interest rates on Italy's debt rose to 6.47 percent, the highest since the country joined the euro. As Greece negotiates a transitional government, the fate of the euro remains in question.

What might this mean for the U.S economy? Joe Noceraop-ed columnist for The New York Times, looks at the potential impact.

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