Monti to head centrist coalition

Dec. 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM
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ROME, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he plans to head a centrist coalition going into Italy's February parliamentary election.

Monti, who resigned from his post Dec. 21, made the announcement Friday after meeting with a number of centrist politicians, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Monti said at a news conference Friday he believes Italy is not yet through its economic crisis.

"I believe the emergency is not over", Monti said. "There is an equally serious and perhaps more important emergency which is that of unemployment, particularly the youth one, and the lack of growth."

Monti, who came to power in November 2011 after former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned, is unable to stand for election because of his designation as a senator for life, but is able to take part in the campaign, the BBC reported.

The prime minister said he is confidant voters will stick with him and elect centrist candidates.

"The traditional split between left and right has historic and symbolic value," Monti said, "but does not highlight the real alliance that Italy needs -- one that focuses on Europe, and on reforms.

"I'm with Italians who want change," he tweeted following the announcement.

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