Brussels has responded to former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s declaration that he would drop plans to run for election if outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti would head up a centre-right coalition in his place.
But Berlusconi is notorious for changing his mind, leaving Italian politics dogged by confusion and creating further uncertainty in the EU.
Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission said:
“You can imagine I have made the points I have just made now to you, the importance of having stability in Italy, the importance of keeping Italy on this path of stability and reform. This is critically important for Italy but also for the European Union.”
Monti has appealed for the next Italian government to continue his economic reform plans:
“Whatever the outcome of the Italian elections in Italy, there will be a government which follows the traditional line of strong support for European integration.”
Berlusconi was in Brussels on Thursday meanwhile, for a pre-summit meeting of the centre-right political leaders.
His invitation has so far not received a direct response from Monti, who is committed to office ahead of the 2013 budget, and before he resigns, probably in December.
But he is being strongly wooed by European leaders, centrist parties and international markets wary of a return to government under Berlusconi.