TIMELINE - Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister

  • World
  • Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011

REUTERS - Here is a timeline on Silvio Berlusconi since he won power again in Italy in 2008:

April 2008 - Berlusconi wins a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament in elections. It is his third term as premier. Berlusconi also held the job in 1994 and 2001-06.

July 2009 - Berlusconi faces accusations of cavorting with teenagers and prostitutes. He says he is "no saint" but vows to govern until the end of his mandate.

December - Berlusconi is rushed to hospital with a bloodied face after a man with mental problems hurls a statuette of Milan cathedral at him at a rally.

January 2010 - On his first day back at work almost a month after he was attacked, Berlusconi works out a three-pronged strategy to regain his immunity from prosecution.

March - Italy's senate approves a law shielding Berlusconi and his ministers from trial for 18 months.

April - After mounting tensions in the ruling Party of Freedom (PDL), Berlusconi and former ally Gianfranco Fini engage in a public shouting match with Fini accusing Berlusconi of running the party like a monarch.

July - Berlusconi wins a confidence vote on an austerity package deemed crucial to protect Italy's financial stability.

July - Berlusconi splits with Fini, accusing him of trying to administer a "slow death" to their party. Fini supporters register a new group called "Future and Freedom for Italy", with 33 seats in the lower house, of which Fini remains speaker.

September - In a parliamentary confidence vote called to end the feud that has split the PDL party, Berlusconi wins 342 votes against 275, but needs backing of Fini supporters to survive.

November - Reports emerge of a teenage nightclub dancer attending parties at Berlusconi's private residence and of his office intervening with police to help her over separate accusations of theft. He shrugs off the criticism, saying: "It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay."

Nov. 7 - Fini urges Berlusconi to resign.

Nov. 15 - Fini loyalists pull out of the government.

Dec. 11 - Thousands take part in rallies organised by the opposition Democratic Party in Rome to protest against Berlusconi ahead of a no-confidence motion.

Dec. 14 - Berlusconi narrowly survives the vote.

Jan. 13, 2011 - Italy's constitutional court partially strikes down a law that gives the prime minister blanket immunity from prosecution.

Feb. 14 - Berlusconi says he has no intention of stepping down and dismisses a

Feb. 13 demonstration by women across Italy over his involvement in a sex scandal.

Feb. 15 - An Italian judge orders Berlusconi to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage girl.

May 17, 30 - Berlusconi suffers shattering local election defeat, losing his political stronghold Milan as well as a string of cities and towns across Italy.

June 13 - Berlusconi suffers another humiliating defeat as Italians vote overwhelmingly in favour of proposals to repeal laws on nuclear energy, water privatisation and trial immunity for government ministers.

Aug. 3 - Amid growing signs of tension with Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, Berlusconi pledges to step up economic reforms as he calls for a broad-based effort to fight market turmoil.

Aug. 7 - European Central Bank announces it will buy Italian bonds on secondary markets to try to cap a surge in borrowing costs that threatens to spiral out of control. In return, it demands a series of reform steps from Italy.

Sept. 14 - Following weeks of wrangling in the centre-right coalition, parliament

approves new austerity plan, intended to bring budget to balance by 2013.

Sept. 20 - Standard and Poor's lowers its credit rating on Italy to A/A-1 from

A+/A-1+, warning of deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty. Moody's and Fitch make similar cuts in October.

Oct. 14 - Berlusconi narrowly wins confidence vote in parliament.

Oct. 18 - A Milan judge clears Berlusconi in a fraud and embezzlement case related to his private broadcaster Mediaset.

Oct. 26 - Berlusconi presents European leaders with a hastily constructed package of economic reforms after he is given an ultimatum demanding action to boost growth.

-- The "letter of intent" promises a much delayed economic development plan by Nov. 15 and a series of other measures to boost growth and ensure the budget is balanced by 2013.

Nov. 1 - President Giorgio Napolitano piles pressure on Berlusconi, repeating demands for urgent reforms and indicating he could consider options for an alternative government.

Nov. 4 - Berlusconi returns from a humiliating G20 summit in France in which he had to agree to IMF monitoring of Italy's progress in reforms he has long promised but not implemented.

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