Nov 13 - Outgoing Italian Priime Minister Berlosconi calls on the ECB to support the euro. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Silvio Berlusconi's supporters stood outside his residence waving flags, chanting his name and cheering the outgoing Prime Minister. He greeted hundreds of supporters a day after he tendered his resignation. After a frenetic weekend during which parliament passed the reforms that ended his tenure, Berlusconi stepped down to the jeers of hostile crowds. On Sunday he delivered his own message calling on the European Central Bank to become the lender of last resort to prop up the Euro. SOUNDBITE: Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying(Italian): "We have to face the crisis with, a crisis which wasn't born in Italy, which wasn't born because of our debts, wasn't born because of our banks, which wasn't even born in Europe. A crisis that became a crisis for our common currency, the euro which does not have the support that every currency should have. That is to say a bank which is a lender of last resort and a guarantor for the currency as other currencies have, such as the dollar or sterling. This what the European Central Bank should become if we want to save the euro and with it, Europe." He also had some words for those who celebrated his resignation. SOUNDBITE: Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying(Italian): "I would like to say something to all the people who were cheering last night at the news of my resignation. I would like to make clear that from tomorrow I will double my efforts to renew Italy." Berlusconi started the week adamantly refusing to resign, but was brought down by pressure from abroad over Italy's finances. He was the longest serving prime minister in postwar Italy, painting himself as the only choice for the dominant conservative voting bloc and a bastion against communism. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters