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Markets pressure Italy ahead of budget vote
Italian borrowing costs reach new highs before key parliament vote testing Berlusconi majority
By The Associated Press

ROME (AP) ' Italian borrowing costs have risen to fresh euro-era new highs as markets await the outcome of a vote that could force the resignation of Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi's government is under intense pressure to enact quick reforms to protect Italy from the growing sovereign debt crisis, but has been hobbled by a weak coalition.

The yield on Italy's 10-year bonds jumped another 0.07 percentage point Tuesday to 6.74 percent, its highest level since the euro was established in 1999 and nearing the 7 percent threshold that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to accept bailouts.

Parliament votes later on the 2010 state accounts ' a normally routine measure that failed by one vote last month. The opposition is trying to make the measure a vote of confidence in Berlusconi.

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