Thousands of people have attended a rally to demand Premier
Silvio Berlusconi's resignation following allegations he paid
for sex with a 17-year-old girl and used his office to cover
Some of Italy's notable left-leaning intellectuals, including
Umberto Eco and anti-mafia author Roberto Saviano, as well as
union leaders and others, addressed the crowd at a Milan
Organisers said more than 100,000 people had signed a
petition calling for Berlusconi to resign.
The 74-year-old Berlusconi has rejected such calls and
insisted again that early elections would do "grave damage"
to the country as it tries to emerge from the recession.
The premier has denied he paid for sex and accused
prosecutors of seeking to drive him from office.