Berlusconi No Confidence Vote Set For December 14

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will face a no confidence vote on December 14, Reuters is reporting. At that time, the troubled 74-year-old PM could face the end of a long political career that has become increasingly troubled in recent weeks.

Former ally Gianfranco Fini, who has been leading much of the charge against Berlusconi's government since they split ways in July, won a battle this week when four of the premier's ministers resigned from parliament, a step that hastened the confidence votes announced yesterday, said the Guardian.

Berlusconi has also suffered from a barrage of scandals facing his government, including the allegations of Karima Keyek, aka Ruby, a teenaged aspiring model and Berlusconi party partner who added "bunga bunga parties" to the Italian lexicon. Allegations that the prime minister abused his power to have Ruby, pictures of whom recently came to light, released from jail for theft caused Fini to say that if proven true, the embattled PM should resign.

The Italian leader's political and personal troubles have increasingly been accompanied by signs that he will be forced from power, says the AP. "It's not just a majority or a government that's coming to an end: It's the adventure of a lonely man. Berlusconi's loneliness is what today strikes the most," the wire service quoted Corriere della Sera, Italy's leading daily, as saying.

The prime minister, who has been elected to the post three times in the last 16 years, still has a chance at a comeback, but the December 14 vote looks increasingly like an end date.