News Summary: Monti seeks to calm market concerns

News Summary: Outgoing Italian premier assures he will see country through to next election

Associated Press

STICKING AROUND: Premier Mario Monti said he will lead Italy until the next government takes power, insisting there will be "no decision-making vacuum" despite his plan to resign early. His resignation would move up elections by about two months.

BERLUSCONI AGAIN: Monti, who took office in November 2011, said he is stepping down because Silvio Berlusconi's party, Parliament's largest, yanked support for his economic policies. The scandal-plagued Berlusconi said he was running to get the premiership back, contending that severe austerity is doing nothing to lift Italy of recession

MARKETS FALL: Italy's main stock index fell 2.2 percent and interest rates on bonds rose, Some investors worry that a return to party politics could threaten reforms Monti has pushed to restore confidence in the country's financial future.

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