'Financial fire' risk with Berlusconi says Monti

'Unlimited promises' from ex-premier

'Financial fire' risk with Berlusconi says Monti

Rome, February 13 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti said Wednesday an election win for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi would pose "big risks of reviving the financial fire" Italy was going through when Monti took over from Berlusconi 15 months ago. The caretaker premier and former European commissioner, whose reform ticket is lagging Berlusconi and the poll-leading centre-left Democratic Party, accused Berlusconi of making "unlimited promises" in his election bid. Berlusconi has promised voters he will refund an unpopular property tax and implement amnesties on tax evasion and illegal building. Monti is widely credited with bringing Italy back from the brink of a Greece-style crisis with deep pension reforms and big tax hikes but his austerity drive and failure to come through on "growth and fairness" pledges disappointed voters.

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