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Italy’s Monti ‘yet to consider’ election run

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Monday he is not currently considering whether to stand in elections early next year and that the market reaction to his plan to quit early should not be dramatised.


Italian Premier Mario Monti said on Monday he has not yet decided whether to run for office in elections early next year because he is concentrating on his job.

"I am not considering this particular issue at this stage,” he said. “All my efforts are being devoted to the completion of the remaining time of the current government.” The Italian leader was in Norway to attend a ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.

Monti told a press conference that the nervous reaction Monday by financial markets to his decision to step down as soon as Parliament passes the 2013 budget law later this month “shouldn’t be dramatised”.

“I understand market reactions [..]. I am very confident that the Italian elections, when they come, will give room to whatever coalition. The government will be, in my view, a highly responsible one,” he told a news conference.

Monti’s term was due to end by April, and his resignation would move up elections by about two months. Monti, an economist appointed last year to save Italy from succumbing to the eurozone debt crisis, announced Saturday he is resigning early because Silvio Berlusconi’s party, Parliament’s largest, yanked its support for his economic policies.

FRANCE 24 correspondent Josephine McKenna said that the declaration was met coolly by the Italian public on Monday. “Many Italians are very worried about the future: all the predictions are that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, and even though they thought Monti was doing good things for the economy, they’ve been feeling extra pressure from higher taxes and charges,” she said.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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