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Monti Plans to Resign, Will Seek to Pass Italian Budget First

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti indicated he intends to resign and will seek to corral his splintering parliamentary majority to pass a budget before leaving office.

“The prime minister doesn’t think continuing his term is possible and has therefore expressed his intention to resign,” President Giorgio Napolitano’s office said in an e-mailed statement today. Monti will check with lawmakers to see if “they are prepared to approve the budget law in the short term.”

After that, “the Prime Minister will formalize his irrevocable resignation,” Napolitano said.

The statement was issued after a two-hour meeting between the two men in Rome tonight.

Monti’s government is being pushed to an early end as his biggest backer in parliament, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, withdraws his support. Napolitano, who has met with Monti’s supporters in recent days, said the political parties don’t want to force Italy into an emergency budget.

Pierluigi Bersani, leader of the Democratic Party -- which still supports Monti -- said he wants to pass the budget, according to RAI 24 news today.

Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party will back the budget bill, party General Secretary Angelino Alfano told Ansa after Naplitano’s statement.

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