Journalists refuse to work after editor resigns

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The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera failed to appear on the news stands yesterday after its journalists went on strike over the resignation of the editor - reportedly under pressure from the government.

Ferruccio de Bertoli resigned on Friday after lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi filed defamation suits against the paper in connection with purportedly hostile coverage of corruption cases involving the Prime Minister.

The journalists at the paper's head office in Milan voted 104 to 31 on Saturday in favour of a stoppage, with four abstentions. The Writers' Committee said the strike had been called "in protest at ... a change that has been brought about by a method with no clarity".

Stefano Folli, the man appointed to replace Mr Bertoli, is a political commentator with the paper who has cordial relations with many politicians.

Mr Berlusconi denied intervening at the newspaper.

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