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Mario Monti in talks to run for Italian PM

Mario Monti is being urged to campaign and go beyond his unelected technocrat status.

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In Naples on Nov. 17, students and the unemployed protested impending austerity cuts expected from new Italian Premier Mario Monti. For Monti and his technocratic government, the stakes are high. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Italy's technocrat ruler Mario Monti is being urged to become a legitimate prime minister, the Financial Times reported. Monti said he would step down when his budget is passed, which would trigger an election in February.

Centrist politicians are now encouraging him to run as a candidate in the election, the Financial Times said. They expect an answer from him within a week.

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Silvio Berlusconi meanwhile is back in campaign mode, accusing Monti today of being "German-centric," NDTV reported.

Monti announced his resignation after Berlusconi's party withdrew support from the government on Thursday, BBC News reported. Monti, who also leads an unelected cabinet of technocrats, said he was confident that a "highly responsible" government would get elected in February, but he would not say if he will run.

"I'm not considering this particular issue at this stage," he told the BBC. 

Monti took the oath of office on Nov. 16 last year and named a cabinet that was almost universally praised, GlobalPost reported last year.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/121211/mario-monti-talks-run-italian-pm-0