Nov. 27 - Mixed reaction in Rome as Senate expels Berlusconi over tax fraud, with the veteran center-right leader calling it a day of ''mourning'' for democracy. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Uproar in the Italian Senate ahead of a vote to expel Silvio Berlusconi from Parliament. Berlusconi is expelled over his tax fraud conviction, drawing a defiant response from the veteran center-right leader who shows no sign of going gently. As his supporters gather Berlusconi spoke of dark times in Italy. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN CENTER-RIGHT LEADER, SILVIO BERLUSCONI, SAYING: "We are here in what is a bitter day, a day of mourning for Italian democracy." Italy now moves into an uncertain new phase with the 77-year-old media billionaire preparing to use all his extensive resources to attack the coalition government. On the street, mixed reaction. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) GIUSEPPE, SAYING: "They are persecuting Berlusconi, they are being vindictive, it's not right. He's been a politician for 20 years, and he governed well." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) CLAUDIO BRUNATO, SAYING: "Firstly, finally Italy is free, but it's too late, it's embarrassing." The political battle over Berlusconi has already hampered any serious overhaul of Italy's stagnant economy, which is stuck in a recession that has lasted more than two years, sending youth unemployment up over 40 percent.