Italy president says Monti government must continue until spring

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2012 7:16 AM
Italy president says Monti government must continue until spring

ROME (Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Mario Monti's government must complete its natural term, due to end in spring, following Silvio Berlusconi's threat to withdraw support before next year's election.

"The legislature must come to its natural conclusion," Napolitano said at an institutional ceremony on Tuesday.

Napolitano has a largely ceremonial role, but he exerted a strong influence during Italy's political crisis last November when its bond yields were soaring and Monti was brought in to replace Berlusconi as prime minister.

Napolitano does have the power to dissolve parliament and pick potential prime ministers.

Berlusconi said on Saturday his center-right bloc may withdraw its support from the government, a move that could throw Italy into political chaos.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby)