Monti ready to give 'encouragement' to next government

Participation depends on coalition's 'commitment to reforms'

Monti ready to give 'encouragement' to next government

Rome, December 24 - Italian Premier Mario Monti said on Sunday that he would would be ready to "give advice, encouragement and if necessary leadership," to the future government. Monti underlined that for now he is not siding with any party but his possible participation in the upcoming administration depended on the coalition's commitment to reforms outlined in his agenda published online Sunday. The premier, who resigned on Friday after the key vote on the 2013 budget law in parliament, urged Italian parties not to destroy what his government had achieved to "overcome the financial emergency". Monti and his administration of technocrats was sworn in after Silvio Berlusconi quit as premier last November when Italy's debt crisis was threatening to spiral out of control. He has passed painful austerity measures of tax hikes and spending cuts to put the country on track to balance the national budget.

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