Monti keen to step down in April despite calls to remain
Italy’s Mario Monti said yesterday he would prefer not to stay on as prime minister after elections in April, despite widespread calls for him to do so.
Mr Monti was named as leader of a technocrat government last November when the financial crisis forced Italian government debt to levels that had triggered bailout requests from other euro zone countries. His government’s term ends in March.
Asked at an event in Milan whether he would like to stay in the job, he said, “No.” In September, Mr Monti said he would, out of a sense of responsibility to the country, carry on leading the government if the election did not produce a leader with a clear majority.
Recent opinion polls show that no party or alliance of parties would win more than 32 per cent of votes if the election were held now.
Italy’s business community and many politicians support a second term for Mr Monti to lock in structural reforms he has launched and to maintain confidence in the economy. Asked about the markets, Mr Monti said Italian government bond spreads had reduced dramatically during the last year and could fall further. – (Reuters)