Monti Will Get Second Term If Italy Vote Unclear, Prodi Says

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who has declined to run for a second term, may be reappointed if voters fail to give sufficient backing to one of the candidates in next year’s elections, Romano Prodi said.

“If there is no clear winner, Mr. Monti will be again prime minister,” Prodi, a former Italian prime minister, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Guy Johnson today. “He has been an excellent prime minister.”

Monti has helped contain Italy’s borrowing costs since being called to power in November after the resignation of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. His caretaker government is supported in parliament by Italy’s two main political parties, which pledged to cooperate until elections that are due in April.

If neither party wins enough votes to lead a government without the other, Monti has said he is open to serving again.

“If there is a situation in which you have not a clear outcome, there is no other choice,” Prodi said.

Monti’s popularity fell to 37 percent from 39 percent, according to a poll published last week by the SWG Institute. Monti, a former European Union competition commissioner and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. adviser, is a senator-for-life and doesn’t need voter approval to return to parliament.

“Clearly a prime minister must come out of an electoral vote, so I would have preferred Monti to run,” Prodi said.

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