Monti says he is open to leading next government
Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved Parliament after Monti resigned Friday following approval of the country’s national budget law. Monti noted that as a senator-for-life, he remains in Parliament and doesn’t need to run for a seat in the legislature.
Voter opinion polls indicate a centrist ticket backing Monti would take about 15 percent of the vote, meaning any government he heads would need support from either of Italy’s two largest political groupings: the center-right, led by Berlusconi, or the center-left, led by Pier Luigi Bersani.
After Monti’s announcement Sunday, Bersani, whose forces turned out to be Monti’s staunchest proponent this past year, vowed to keep up the premier’s anti-crisis efforts.
By declining to directly campaign for February’s balloting, Monti avoids a direct clash with him. On Sunday, Monti would only would say that Bersani is a highly ‘‘legitimate candidate for premier of a coalition.’’
In an interview on state TV later Sunday, Monti declined to say if he thought his agenda would get more backing from Bersani’s or from Berlusconi’s supporters.
Some had speculated that Monti had his sights set on the Italian presidency, since Napolitano’s term ends this spring. But Monti ruled that out.