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Prime Minister Mario Monti’s Friday evenings drive to tender his formal resignation to the president has set Italy on a fresh political course.

He has agreed to head an interim government while in an unusual step President Napolitano will consult with the leaders of all the main political parties on the next steps.

Mario Monti is in no doubt as to how he wants the future to develop.

‘‘All actions I took I would like to be continued in the next legislature. The national interest is not related to who is ruling the country at a specific time, because, as you know better than others, the national interest is a permanent interest,’‘ he told a group of ambassadors.

A vote in the lower house which approved Monti’s 2013 budget on Friday afternoon set the events in motion. The former European commissioner had vowed to quit once the budget was passed. Will Italy’s fragmented Italian political landscape change again?

“I think that Italy in the last 13 months made a very good job. So I think that in way the path is quite obliged and nobody will be able to shift from the road indicated by Monti,” opined Massimo Franco, political columnist of the Corriere della Sera newspaper

The Italians will be off to the polls with the ballot expected on February 24. Opinion is divided whether Monti should stand for office again. Reports suggest the man credited with hauling Italy back from the financial brink is undecided. “Difficult but fascinating” is how he summed up his last 13 months.

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