Italian borrowing rates stuck in danger zone

ROME (AP) — Italian borrowing rates were stuck well above the dangerous 7-percent mark despite moves to accelerate reforms and Premier Silvio Berlusconi's imminent resignation.

Italy's president assured the markets that Berlusconi will step down after reforms are passed — expected Saturday — and he has named respected economist Mario Monti senator for life in a move that puts him in line to run the next government.

Italy is under intense pressure to prove it has the political will to take measures to stop the debt crisis from spreading. Yields on 10-year bonds were up at 7.35 percent on Thursday, well above the threshold that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.

Italy later will sell €5 billion ($6.8 billion) of 12-month bills. Yields are expected to be up sharply.

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