Longtime Berlusconi ally rules out any support should Monti run for office
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, centre, and Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, left, visit a property to be possibly used as an immigration holding centre, in Mineo, Sicily, Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. (AP / Livio Anticoli, Italian Premier's press service)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, December 15, 2012 12:12PM EST
ROME -- The leader of the party that kept Silvio Berlusconi in power insists he won't support any election alliance to put Italian Premier Mario Monti back in office in voting early next year.
Roberto Maroni, Northern League leader, was quoted as saying Saturday that he told Berlusconi that any support for Monti would be "impossible." Monti was appointed a year ago to replace Berlusconi, amid financial market turmoil. Berlusconi says he's running to regain the premiership but that he could step aside if Monti runs himself.
The Northern League refused to back Monti's government. Maroni said the League could support any run by Berlusconi's political heir, Angelino Alfano. Voter surveys find sagging support for Berlusconi's conservatives. Elections are expected in February. Monti hasn't said if he will run.