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25 October 2011
Northern League leader Umberto Bossi reportedly wrested PM Silvio Berlusconi's concession to resign in January...in return for raising the retirement age...but at a more leisurely rate.
The Northern League is Berlusconi's most important coalition partner.
Bossi had previously said :"I'm not touching our pensions, which are fine, to bring up the age to 67 just to please the Germans," said Bossi (below).
Meanwhile...a small scuffle broke out on the floor of the parliament today between the Northern League and some of Silvio's boys.
An observer noted that "Berlusconi's been on the verge of stepping down for several months now, but he's always managed to pull off a truce."
Eurozone leaders are spurring Italy to make more drastic reforms to reassure markets.
Italy's 10 year bonds have neared the unsustainable 6% interest level...as market confidence diminishes.
Over the weekend...French President Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel visibly shared smirks at a press conference over Berlusconi's ability "to (have Italy's debt) reduced in a credible manner in the coming years".