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Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi resigned today, but he pledged to form a new government in a bid to strengthen a coalition left weakened by electoral defeat and concerns about a slow economy.

His resignation ends his 4-year-old government, Italy's longest-serving since World War II. Berlusconi had been under pressure to resign since his party suffered a stinging defeat in regional elections this month.

He submitted his resignation to Italy's president but said he was confident a new government would relaunch his center-right coalition.

Berlusconi has been struggling to hold his government together, and a senior coalition partner, the National Alliance, threatened Tuesday to quit the government.

The government probably could not have survived if the alliance's five ministers had resigned.

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