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Berlusconi party ready to support Monti-led government

Berlusconi party ready to support Monti-led government
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The centre-right party of Italy’s outgoing prime minister says its ready to support a government led by Mario Monti.

But the move is conditional on the make-up and policy programme to be announced by the new government.

“We have made clear our availability and consent to giving the mandate to Professor Monti,” People of Freedom party secretary Angelino Alfano said after meeting President Giorgio Napolitano.

A new chapter in Italian politics is being written with President Napolitano holding back-to-back talks with all parties on the formation of an emergency government.

Almost everyone is predicting it will be Mario Monti. The former EU commissioner would lead a technocratic administration to resolve the current economic crisis before new elections.

The new prime minister and cabinet should be named tonight ready for a parliamentary confidence vote tomorrow or Tuesday. It follows the final approval of an austerity bill on Saturday, paving the way for Berlusconi’s resignation as premier although he remains an MP and party leader.