MILAN Nov 12 Italy's Mario Monti said on Monday
he would prefer not to stay on as prime minister after elections
in April, despite widespread calls for him to do so.
Monti was named as leader of a technocrat government last
November when the financial crisis forced Italian government
debt to levels that had triggered bailout requests from other
euro zone countries. His government's term ends in March.
Asked at an event organised by the Financial Times in Milan
whether he would like to stay in the job, he said: "No."
In September, Monti said he would, out of a sense of
responsibility to the country, carry on leading the government
if the election did not produce a leader with a clear majority.
"I am seeing that many people do imagine such a scenario,"
he said, answering a question about whether he would run a new
government. "Some like it and some dislike it. I do not have a
view on this."
Recent opinion polls show that no party or alliance of
parties would win more than 32 percent of votes if the election
were held now.
Italy's business community and many politicians support a
second term for Monti to lock in structural reforms he has
launched and to maintain financial markets' confidence in the
When asked about financial markets, Monti said Italian
government bond spreads had reduced dramatically during the last
year and could fall further.
"I do not see in Italian fundamentals any reason why the
spread should be higher than 150 basis points," he said.
On Monday, 10-year Italian bonds were trading about 365
basis points over 10-year German Bunds, having reached a euro
zone record of about 570 basis points last December.