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Timeline: Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister

(Reuters) - Here is a timeline on Silvio Berlusconi since he won power again in Italy in 2008:

April 2008 - Berlusconi wins a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament in elections. It is his third term as premier. Berlusconi also held the job in 1994 and 2001-06.

July 2009 - Berlusconi faces accusations of cavorting with teenagers and prostitutes. He says he is “no saint” but vows to govern until the end of his mandate.

December - Berlusconi is rushed to hospital with a bloodied face after a man with mental problems hurls a statuette of Milan cathedral at him at a rally.

January 2010 - On his first day back at work almost a month after he was attacked, Berlusconi works out a three-pronged strategy to regain his immunity from prosecution.

March - Italy’s senate approves a law shielding Berlusconi and his ministers from trial for 18 months.

April - After mounting tensions in the ruling Party of Freedom (PDL), Berlusconi and former ally Gianfranco Fini engage in a public shouting match with Fini accusing Berlusconi of running the party like a monarch.

July - Berlusconi wins a confidence vote on an austerity package deemed crucial to protect Italy’s financial stability.

July - Berlusconi splits with Fini, accusing him of trying to administer a “slow death” to their party. Fini supporters register a new group called “Future and Freedom for Italy,” with 33 seats in the lower house, of which Fini remains speaker.

September - In a parliamentary confidence vote called to end the feud that has split the PDL party, Berlusconi wins 342 votes against 275, but needs backing of Fini supporters to survive.

November - Reports emerge of a teenage nightclub dancer attending parties at Berlusconi’s private residence and of his office intervening with police to help her over separate accusations of theft. He shrugs off the criticism, saying: “It’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”

November 7 - Fini urges Berlusconi to resign.

November 15 - Fini loyalists pull out of the government.

December 11 - Thousands take part in rallies organized by the opposition Democratic Party in Rome to protest against Berlusconi ahead of a no-confidence motion.

December 14 - Berlusconi narrowly survives the vote.

January 13, 2011 - Italy’s constitutional court partially strikes down a law that gives the prime minister blanket immunity from prosecution.

February 14 - Berlusconi says he has no intention of stepping down and dismisses a February 13 demonstration by women across Italy over his involvement in a sex scandal.

February 15 - An Italian judge orders Berlusconi to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage girl.

May 17, 30 - Berlusconi suffers shattering local election defeat, losing his political stronghold Milan as well as a string of cities and towns across Italy.

June 13 - Berlusconi suffers another humiliating defeat as Italians vote overwhelmingly in favor of proposals to repeal laws on nuclear energy, water privatization and trial immunity for government ministers.

August 3 - Amid growing signs of tension with Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, Berlusconi pledges to step up economic reforms as he calls for a broad-based effort to fight market turmoil.

August 7 - European Central Bank announces it will buy Italian bonds on secondary markets to try to cap a surge in borrowing costs that threatens to spiral out of control. In return, it demands a series of reform steps from Italy.

September 14 - Following weeks of wrangling in the center-right coalition, parliament approves new austerity plan, intended to bring budget to balance by 2013.

September 20 - Standard and Poor’s lowers its credit rating on Italy to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+, warning of deteriorating growth outlook and damaging political uncertainty. Moody’s and Fitch make similar cuts in October.

October 14 - Berlusconi narrowly wins confidence vote in parliament.

October 18 - A Milan judge clears Berlusconi in a fraud and embezzlement case related to his private broadcaster Mediaset.

October 26 - Berlusconi presents European leaders with a hastily constructed package of economic reforms after he is given an ultimatum demanding action to boost growth.

-- The “letter of intent” promises a much delayed economic development plan by November 15 and a series of other measures to boost growth and ensure the budget is balanced by 2013.

November 1 - President Giorgio Napolitano piles pressure on Berlusconi, repeating demands for urgent reforms and indicating he could consider options for an alternative government.

November 4 - Berlusconi returns from a humiliating G20 summit in France in which he had to agree to IMF monitoring of Italy’s progress in reforms he has long promised but not implemented.

November 8 - Berlusconi fails to secure a majority in a vital parliamentary vote. President Giorgio Napolitano says the prime minister agrees to resign once a new financing law is passed. (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit and Catherine Hornby)

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