Mr Berlusconi said he felt bitter about the hostile reception he received en route to resign
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Profile: Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi has resigned as prime minister of Italy, after dominating the country's politics for 17 years.
President Giorgio Napolitano accepted his offer and is likely to appoint technocrat Mario Monti his successor.
Mr Berlusconi lost his majority amid an acute debt crisis
that threatens the eurozone. He promised to go once MPs had approved new
Crowds celebrated outside the presidential palace, shouting "buffoon" as he entered.
The BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says Mr Berlusconi's last journey as prime minister was an undignified one.
Police struggled to control a large, hostile crowd which
booed and jeered as his convoy swept by, and after his resignation he
left by a side exit to avoid the protesters.
He said he felt "embittered" after hearing the insults.
Mr Berlusconi is Italy's longest-serving post-war prime minister. His premiership has recently been marred by many scandals.
He is a consummate survivor, our correspondent says, but he
was overwhelmed by the scale of the financial crisis which has engulfed
After losing his parliamentary majority on Tuesday,
Berlusconi promised to resign when austerity measures, demanded by the
EU and designed to restore markets' confidence in the country's economy,
were passed by both houses of parliament.