Rome, January 24 - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday called caretaker premier Mario Monti's choice to run in upcoming general elections "unreasonable". Technocrat Monti has been running Italy since being appointed in November 2011 to replace Berlusconi and steer Italy away from a Greece-style debt debacle. He resigned last month after losing support in a crucial parliament vote and has since stayed on as a caretaker leader charged with managing ordinary administration. Berlusconi, who heads a nation's centre-right coalition, which is one of the main contenders in the upcoming vote, appealed to Italians not to dissipate their preferences on "smaller parties". The media mogul-turned-politician made the comments in an interview with Italy's Radio Due. "We must form two large political parties, such as exist in the best Western democracies," Berlusconi said.
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di Sebastiano Caspanello