The Straits Times
Published on Dec 09, 2012

Italy's Monti to resign as Berlusconi announces fresh run for PM


ROME (AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is stepping down, the president's office announced on Saturday, just hours after the man he replaced, Mr Silvio Berlusconi, said he would run again for head of government.

Mr Monti "does not think it possible to continue his mandate and consequently made clear his intention to present his resignation", said a statement from President Giorgio Napolitano's office.

The announcement came after Mr Monti met with Mr Napolitano at the presidential Quirinal palace for more than an hour. Already Friday, Mr Monti had held talks with parliamentary political leaders, including Angelino Alfano, of Berlusconi's right-wing People of Freedom (PDL) party.

Mr Monti would check to see if the various political parties were ready to approve the budget his government had advanced as soon as possible. But once that had been done, he would step down, said the statement.