Dec 22 -Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti resigns but keeps his next move close to his chest. Paul Chapman reports
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A convoy of cars carrying Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti arrives at the presidential palace in Rome.
A short while later presidential officials announce Monti's resigned.
SOUNDBITE: DONATO MARRA, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY, SAYING (Italian):
"The President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, received today at the presidential palace at 1900 the prime minister, Senator Mario Monti, who, following parliament's approval of the budget law, has tendered his resignation from the government he presided over."
Monti revealed his intention to resign at a conference of Italian ambassadors in Rome on Friday.
His announcement came as Italy's lower house approved his government's 2013 budget.
He's continuing in a caretaker capacity until a highly uncertain national election in February.
Monti was appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from a financial crisis a year ago.
He's kept his next move a closely guarded secret pending a news conference on Sunday where he's expected to clarify his intentions.
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