Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has resigned, just days after ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his party threatened to topple his government.
On Friday, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Italy Donato Marra said, “The President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano has received today at the presidential palace at 19:00 the prime minister, Senator Mario Monti, who, following the parliament’s approval of the budget law, has tendered the resignation for the government.”
Napolitano will dissolve parliament over the next few days, and national elections will be held in February.
Monti, a former high-flying European commissioner, is to continue in a caretaker capacity.
The move comes after Berlusconi and his center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, which is the biggest in the Italian parliament, earlier this month threatened to end support for Monti’s government over the deepening recession in the country.
Monti announced his resignation a little over a year after replacing the scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi, who was forced to step down due to a debt crisis.
Monti, who called for Italians to make “sacrifices” in the face of debts and austerity, saw his popularity ratings plummet from 60 percent when he entered office to around 30 percent in recent weeks.
The outgoing prime minister had said that Italy needed to swallow “a bitter medicine” because “an aspirin” could not restore public finances after years of mismanagement.
Monti has indicated that he may be willing to lead a centrist coalition government if the February 2013 election produces no clear majority.
Monti served as the European chairmen of the Trilateral Commission from 2010 to 2011, was formerly a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, and still plays an important role in the Bilderbergers.
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