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Italy parliament dissolved; Monti to divulge plans

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 22, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.

in-this-photo-released-by-the-italian-presidency-the-general-secretary-donato-marra-officially-announces-the-resignation-of-mario-monti-at-the-quirinale-presidential-palace-in-rome-friday-dec-21-2012-mario-monti-handed-in-his-resignation-to-italys-president-in-rome-on-friday-bringing-to-a-close-his-13-month-technical-government-and-preparing-the-country-for-national-elections-president-giorgio-napolitano-who-tapped-monti-in-november-2011-to-come-up-with-reforms-to-shield-italy-from-the-continents-debt-crisis-asked-monti-to-stay-on-as-head-of-a-caretaker-government-until-the-national-vote-expected-in-february

In this photo released by the Italian Presidency, the general secretary Donato Marra officially announces the resignation of Mario Monti at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Mario Monti handed in his resignation to Italy's president in Rome on Friday, bringing to a close his 13-month technical government and preparing the country for national elections. President Giorgio Napolitano -- who tapped Monti in November 2011 to come up with reforms to shield Italy from the continent's debt crisis -- asked Monti to stay on as head of a caretaker government until the national vote, expected in February.

— Italy's president has dissolved parliament following Premier Mario Monti's resignation, formally setting the stage for general elections in February in which Monti's participation remains unclear.

President Giorgio Napolitano signed the decree Saturday after consulting with political leaders.

Monti, appointed 13 months ago to steer Italy from a Greek-style debt crisis, stepped down Friday after ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's party withdrew its support for his technical government.

He has scheduled a news conference Sunday during which he is expected to announce whether he will run for office.

Small centrist parties have been courting Monti, but Italian newspapers say he is inclined to refuse. Polls indicate the center-left Democratic Party will win the vote. A Monti-led ticket could deprive the Democrats of votes, but wouldn't be expected to garner anything near a majority.

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