Mario Monti hedges his bets ahead of Italy poll

Playing his cards close to his chest while keeping his options open. This is the Machiavellian world of Italian politics.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says he has no plans to side with any party in the upcoming elections. Monti says he was unable to accept an offer from Silvio Berlusconi to lead a centrist coalition.

However, he also describes himself as available to head a future government.

Speaking on television, Mr Monti said despite the high taxes, the Italian people believe in him and his ability to take the right action for the country.

The door to government is still open for the caretaker prime minister, according to Maurizio Caprara from the newspaper “Corriere della sera”:

“If the centre-right wins the election or the centre-left wins the election but it has not enough MP’s for a safe life of the government maybe it would be necessary to choose another prime minister and Mario Monti can be ready to do it. At the same time Monti did not close for himself the path for the Quirinale.”

Monti was nominated as a technocrat prime minister in 2011 after Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition collapsed under the weight of the financial crisis.

He resigned this time after Berlusconi withdrew his support. Elections are due in February.