Former FM Frattini won't run on Monti's ticket

Outgoing PM 'understands', he says

Former FM Frattini won't run on Monti's ticket

Rome, January 10 - Former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini issued a statement Thursday declining to run on outgoing Premier Mario Monti's ticket in national elections next month. ''I am very grateful to Premier Monti...but, as I decided a few weeks ago and as I told the president yesterday, my choice remains to continue supporting that ideal project as president of the Alcide De Gasperi Foundation and as the European People's Party (EPP) foreign affairs chief, and therefore without an additional candidacy. "Premier Monti understood my choice,'' Frattini said in the statement. ''Not only that, I reiterate what I told him a few months ago: for him to approach the EPP, followed by a possible role as federator of Italian moderates.'' Frattini, who served as foreign minister under former premier Silvio Berlusconi, went on to say he aims to create an Italian EPP, and to praise Monti's electoral coalition, recently baptized as Civic Choice (Scelta Civica). ''It has a realistic, credible program, far from the usual insults, clashes and false campaign promises,'' Frattini said, adding that in the past year Monti has ''allowed our country to once again become a protagonist in Europe and in the world, because it was judged to be trustworthy and committed to the fight against populism, euroscepticism, and corruption".

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