Naples

Napolitano says voters must decide future of Italy

'Parties want to build on Monti's legacy' says president

Napolitano says voters must decide future of Italy

Naples, November 19 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Monday that voters, and no one else, must decide who will succeed Premier Mario Monti when his term ends next spring. In the run-up to a planned change of office in March, analysts have speculated that economic reforms passed under Monti would not be brought to term under his successor. Many have also wondered if Monti, a technocrat brought in by Napolitano to replace Silvio Berlusconi amid a peak in the euro crisis last year, would stay on for another term, despite repeated denials. "When there are free elections, no one can foresee the result," said Napolitano Monday. "There's always an element of risk when you vote. But shall we not vote for this reason? Or, for peace of mind, shall we predetermine the successor? We'll see how the citizens express themselves". Earlier Monday Monti sought to quell concerns over the future of Italian politics by saying that the administration after his will do "even better". Napolitano said that Monti's initiatives had put the country on a path "it could not leave". "The parties say they want to build on that, not destroy it, he said. "This seems like something that can encourage our friends regarding the future in Italy".

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