"I find the idea of a descent into politics horrid," Monti said at his end-of-the-year news conference in Rome. "We need higher-level debate here and so should be talking about an ascent into politics."
Monti previously announced he would step down after the passage of a 2013 national budget, but as expected he did not rule out leading the next government. Monti did not officially announce his candidacy, but indicated he was keeping his options open.
Monti expressed a willingness to help lead a political coalition that shared his own economic strategies. The Wall Street Journal said it appeared to be an overture to the popular center-left Democratic Party to join forces against the center-right party, led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, that had pulled its support from Monti's government.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]