Mario Monti 'Available To Lead Italy'

by
staff
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he is not siding for now with any party in upcoming elections, but remains available to head a future government.

Mario Monti

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he is not siding for now with any party in upcoming elections, but remains available to head a future government.

Mr Monti said he was ready to lead any coalition committed to his agenda.

The caretaker prime minister said he was unable to accept an offer from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to lead a centrist coalition.

Elections are to be held in February. Mr Monti resigned after Mr Berlusconi's party withdrew its support.

Mr Monti was nominated as technocratic prime minister in November 2011, after Mr Berlusconi's centre-right coalition government fell amidst a financial and economic crisis.

Speaking at a news conference in Rome, Mr Monti urged Italian parties not to destroy what he said was his government's achievement in saving Italy from that crisis.

"That financial emergency has been overcome," he said. "Italians can once again hold their heads high as citizens of Europe."

Asked repeatedly if he was going to run the the 24-25 February election, Mr Monti said: "I would be ready to give my advice, my encouragement and if necessary leadership. I would also be ready to assume one day, if required by circumstances, the responsibilities that would be entrusted to me by the parliament."