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Monti satisfied, says will have influence after vote

Outgoing premier's reform ticket scrapes into Senate

26 February, 00:03
Monti satisfied, says will have influence after vote (see related stories) (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti said on Monday that he was satisfied even though his reform ticket failed to make a big impact in Italy's general election.

His ticket, which is backed by centrist parties, looked set to scrape into the Senate with around 9% of the vote, according to partial results.

It appeared on course to do a little better in the House, winning just over 10% of the votes.

"Some people hypothesized a result that was slightly better, but I am very satisfied," said former Eurepean commissioner, who stressed that his Civic Choice movement was established less than two months ago.

He added that his party's share of the vote was all the more important as the election was set to produce an inconclusive result, with no coalition able to command a majority in the Senate.

"Given the current picture, I think we have acquired even more importance, if that's possible," said Monti, who took the helm of an emergency government of unelected technocrats when Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign as premier in November 2011 with Italy's debt crisis threatening to spiral out of control.

His technocrat government's austerity policies helped steer Italy out of the financial crisis but they also deepened the recession.

During the election campaign, Berlusconi frequently accused Monti of being too compliant in agreeing to implement austerity measures expounded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Pier Ferdinando Casini, the leader of the centrist Catholic UDC that backed Monti, could not see things so positively as the outgoing premier.

"In life you win and you lose," Casini said.

"Our result was below expectations. Honour to the winners".

Another member of the coalition, House Speaker Gianfranco Fini, was even more downbeat about the vote and its consequences.

"It's impossible to hide the fact that this is a totally negative result for us," said Fini, the leader of the FLI party.

"I'm afraid that the worst is yet to come for Italy".