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News Summary: Monti sharpens political tone

The Associated Press

POLITICO: Italian Premier Mario Monti has radically changed tone in recent days, dropping his neutral stance as he seeks a second term. He is now directly challenging leaders who until a few weeks ago backed his non-elected government.

BIG TARGET: Monti lashed out at predecessor Silvio Berlusconi during an interview on state TV after the former premier, who is facing several legal and sexual scandals, asserted that Monti lacks credibility.

CAMPS: The election campaign is shaping up into a race with Monti in the center, Berlusconi to the right and Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani on the left.