Merkel trusts Italy voters will stick to Monti reforms

BERLIN Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:45pm EST

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she was confident that the Italian people would choose in their upcoming elections to continue the reform path set by the outgoing technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti.

"I support the reforms launched by Mario Monti's government which have led to financial investors regaining some confidence in Italy, so I am sure the Italian people will vote in such a way that Italy stays on the right path," Merkel told a news conference.

European stock and bond markets have been knocked by concerns that ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi could return to power in Italy after elections next year and weaken efforts to reform state finances.

(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Andreas Rinke, editing by Gareth Jones)