Italy races to form new government after Silvio Berlusconi

Euro zone's third largest economy is battling a crisis that has brought it to the brink of financial disaster
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Democratic Party (PD) leader Pierluigi Bersani (C) as PD Dario Franceschini addresses the deputies during a session at the parliament to adopt measures promised by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to the European Union on November 12, 2011 in Rome (AFP/Getty Images)
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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (C) arrives during a session at the parliament to adopt measures he promised to the European Union on November 12, 2011 in Rome (AFP/Getty Images)
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Italy's head of state begins talks on Sunday to appoint an emergency government to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and handle a crisis that has brought the euro zone's third largest economy to the brink of financial disaster (AFP/Getty Images)
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President Giorgio Napolitano is expected to ask former European Commissioner Mario Monti to try to form a government of technocrats in time for the opening of markets on Monday (AFP/Getty Images)
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The appointment of a new government will come after Berlusconi faced a chorus of jeers and insults as he was driven to the Quirinale Palace to hand his resignation to Napolitano (AFP/Getty Images)
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Deputies stand during a session to adopt measures promised by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to the European Union on November 12, 2011 at the parliament in Rome. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was set to resign later in the day after dominating Italian political life for 17 years, as lawmakers prepared to give final approval to a package of key economic reforms. (AFP/Getty Images)
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(From L) Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, finance minister Giulio Tremonti and Northern League leader Umberto Bossi react during a session at the parliament to adopt Berlusconi's measures promised to the European Union on November 12, 2011 in Rome (AFP/Getty Images)
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Crowds built up steadily after parliament passed a new budget law in the late afternoon on Saturday, clearing the way for Berlusconi to fulfill a pledge to resign after he failed to secure a majority in a crucial vote on Tuesday (AFP/Getty Images)
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Following weeks of political uncertainty and growing calls from international partners for action to control its towering public debt, Italy's borrowing costs soared to unmanageable levels last week, threatening a Europe-wide financial meltdown (AFP/Getty Images)
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Italy's parliament speaker Gianfranco Fini (AFP/Getty Images)
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Italy came close to a full scale financial emergency this week after yields on 10-year bonds soared over 7.6 percent, levels which forced Ireland, Portugal and Greece to seek an international bailout (AFP/Getty Images)
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With public debt of more than 120 percent of gross domestic product and more than a decade of anaemic economic growth behind it, Italy is at the heart of the euro zone debt crisis and would be too big for the bloc to bail out (AFP/Getty Images)