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Monti Says Not Considering Running in Elections at This Time

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he won’t consider running in elections that may be held in Italy as soon as February.

“I am not considering this particular issue at this stage,” Monti said at a press conference in Oslo. “All my efforts are being devoted to the completion of the remaining time of the current government, which appears to be rather short but still requires intensive application of mind and energy on my part as well as my council of ministers”.

Monti said Dec. 8 he’ll step down as prime minister once the budget is passed. The announcement, made after former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s party withdrew support for his government, sparked selling of Italian stocks and bonds today, dragging European markets lower. Monti, a former European commissioner, said today that the market reaction was normal and investors shouldn’t fear a political vacuum in Italy.

“I understand market reaction, they need not to be dramatized,” Monti said, adding that he expected the next government to be a “a highly responsible EU oriented government, which will be in line with the huge efforts already pursued by Italy recently in terms of budge discipline and structural reforms.”

Elections will be held 45 to 70 days after President Giorgio Napolitano dissolves parliament, which could happen as soon as this month. In that interim period, Monti may remain premier, or Napolitano may appoint a caretaker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonas Bergman in Oslo at jbergman@bloomberg.net; Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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