Italian president dissolves parliament

POSTED: Saturday, December 22, 2012 - 7:14pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 9:15am

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday dissolved the country's parliament, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Monti.

New elections will beheld on February 24-25, according to a statement posted on the president's website.

Monti was appointed prime minister last year after the resignation of former premier Silvio Berlusconi. Monti has not indicated whether he will run in the new elections, while Berlusconi says he will.

Monti resigned Friday after Parliament approved the budget.

An economist and former European commissioner, Monti was appointed by Napolitano after Berlusconi stepped down under pressure for failing to control Italy's debt and a series of scandals.

Since then, international investors have displayed confidence in the country's finances. Italy's borrowing costs have fallen this year on Monti's efforts to bring down borrowing and the improved sentiment generated by the European Central Bank's conditional scheme to buy bonds of struggling sovereigns.

Berlusconi has criticized Monti's austerity policies as damaging to the country. Berlusconi's party, the People of Freedom, is the largest in Parliament.

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