Monti resigns to carry on in caretaker role
Italian prime minister Mario Monti has tendered his resignation to the president after 13 months in office, opening the way to a highly uncertain national election in February.
The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis, has kept his political plans a closely guarded secret, but he has faced growing pressure to seek a second term.
President Giorgio Napolitano said he would hold talks with political leaders from all the main parties today to discuss the next steps. In the meantime, Mr Monti will continue in a caretaker capacity.