Berlusconi ready to resign as Italy's PM

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi indicated on Saturday that he was ready to resign, more than three weeks after a narrow election defeat.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi indicated on Saturday that he was ready to resign, more than three weeks after a narrow election defeat.

The billionaire media mogul said a cabinet meeting to make his departure official was scheduled for Tuesday.

Berlusconi had been refusing to concede defeat in the country's April 9-10 elections, and vowed to keep launching legal battles, even after Italy's top court certified the vote had been won by former premier Romano Prodi.

Prodi could take over the Italian government as early as next week, the Associated Press has reported. His candidates on Saturday were elected speakers of the two houses of parliament despite bitterly fought races.

Candidate Franco Marini won the Senate presidency in the fourth round of voting after a race against former Christian Democrat premier Giulio Andreotti, the nominee of Berlusconi's coalition.

Prodi's candidate, veteran communist leader Fausto Bertinotti, also won the presidency in the lower house.

"I am very, very happy," Prodi was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. "We have settled in."