Lost power: Nov. 16, 2011
Circumstances: The three-time prime minister had survived a series of criminal and sexual scandals that would have brought down most politicians years earlier, but he finally announced his resignation last year after his failure to implement much-needed economic reforms prompted a revolt within his own party and a rift with his main coalition ally. President Giorgio Napolitano invited economist and former European Commission official Mario Monti to form a government following Berlusconi's resignation.
Current state of play: Since taking power, Monti has unveiled a sweeping austerity package which includes severe tax increases. Reaction from global markets has been positive. And European leaders likely breathed a sigh of relief over Monti's no-nonsense style after Italian borrowing costs had approached Greek levels under Berlusconi. However, the goodwill from the continent may not last long, with the former eurocrat repeatedly taking public shots at Germany, calling it the "ringleader of global intolerance."