By Marcus Leach

With the Italian senate passing a bill of financial austerity measures demanded by the European Union it seems that Silvio Berlusconi's days as Italian Prime Minister are numbered.

Mr Berlusconi announced earlier this week that he would step down as Prime Minister once his proposed economic reforms were approved.

The bill is expected to be passed at a special weekend session of the lower house tomorrow (Saturday).

The package increases VAT from 20% to 21% and freezes public sector salaries until 2014 as part of an attempt to save €59.8 billion (£51.25 billion).

Further to that the national retirement age will rise from 60 to 65 for women, bringing it in line with the age for men.

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