The 50-plus votes and allegations that failed to sink Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes in his political career, surviving yet another at least implicit one on Tuesday. But he is still headed out the door, he says. Here’s a look at the many things that would have taken down many other world leaders.

The economy

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    In this July 2011 file photo, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi votes over a crucial euro 70 billion ($99 billion) austerity package aimed at convincing investors that the eurozone's third-largest economy won't be swept into the debt crisis, at the lower house of parliament, in Rome.
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The economy is what seems to have finally sunk Berlusconi. Italians who could accept allegations of mafia ties, aiding and abetting prostitution, and buying off politicians couldn’t accept the prospect of further inaction on the debt crisis.

Ironically, Berlusconi used the economy as an argument for why he should be kept in office as he prepared to face a no-confidence vote in December 2010, according to a Monitor report.

In a last-minute appeal to wavering MPs, Berlusconi said today that it would be “folly” to precipitate a political crisis at a time when Italy is facing the sort of economic pressures that have created chaos in countries like Greece and Ireland. "I ask you ... to reflect on the political folly that opening a crisis without visible and credible solutions would be today."

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