- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Monti says he won’t run for Italian premier
Question of the Day
ROME (AP) — Italian caretaker Premier Mario Monti said Sunday he won’t run in February elections, but if political parties that back his anti-crisis agenda ask him to head the next government, he would consider the offer.
Mr. Monti ruled out heading any ticket himself, saying, “I have no sympathy for ‘personal’ parties.”
At a news conference, Mr. Monti made clear he was spurning an offer from his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi to run on a center-right election ticket backed by the media mogul, citing Mr. Berlusconi’s heavy criticism of his economic policies.
Mr. Monti‘s decision ends weeks of speculation that have dominated Italian politics and preoccupied Europe, which is eager to see Mr. Monti’s financial reforms continue.
The premier, an economist who has spent 13 months tasked with trying to right Italy’s troubled economy, said Mr. Berlusconi’s flipping back and forth between condemning the government’s economic policies and then praising the premier convinced him that “I couldn’t accept his offer.”
Mr. Monti was tapped by Italy’s president to lead the country after Mr. Berlusconi was forced to resign, having lost the confidence of international markets. Mr. Monti stepped down Friday after Mr. Berlusconi’s party withdrew its support from his technical government but has been asked stay on in a caretaker capacity in the run-up to Feb. 24-25 elections.
Other centrist parties in Parliament have been urging him to run for another stint as premier. Mr. Monti said, “I won’t line up with anyone,” but he made clear he was available to head the next government.
“If one or more political forces is credibly backing (my) agenda or even has a better one, I’d evaluate the offer,” Mr. Monti said.
“To those forces who demonstrate convincing and credible adherence to (my) agenda, I will be ready to give encouragement, and if necessary, lead” the country, he said.
“Yesterday, we read that he assessed the work of the (Monti) government to be a complete disaster. A few days earlier, I read flattering things,” he said.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved Parliament after Mr. Monti handed in his resignation following approval of the country’s national budget law. Mr. Monti noted that as a senator-for-life, he remains in Parliament and thus doesn’t need to run for a seat in the legislature.
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors