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Monti Faulted by Ex-Ally for Pitch to Revamp Coalition in Italy

Italy’s caretaker prime minister, Mario Monti, was criticized by a former ally after newswire Ansa reported the outgoing head of government was seeking to revamp the broad coalition that put him in power 15 months ago.

Monti proposed reshaping his defunct coalition by excluding what he referred to as “extreme” politicians on both sides, Ansa reported today, citing an interview with the premier.

“It’s time for Monti to decide what side he’s on,” Anna Finocchiaro, chief whip of Italy’s Democratic Party in the Senate, said in an e-mailed statement. “I don’t believe there is any chance of a broad agreement on the horizon.”

Monti, 69, is seeking to maintain his influence in Italy’s next government even as opinion polls place him in fourth place in the race for parliamentary elections Feb. 24-25. The unelected former professor was appointed premier in November 2011 as part of a temporary truce between the Democratic Party and its historic rival, Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty.

“The government will be formed by whoever wins the election, and we’re going to win,” Finocchiaro said.

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