Berlusconi asked PM not to run

Silvio Berlusconi revealed in an interview yesterday that his party had asked new prime minister Mario Monti not to run for office beyond his present term as part of negotiations to secure the economist crucial support from parliament’s largest force.

The billionaire businessman, speaking to Corriere della Sera, reiterated that his party would decide on its support for Mr Monti measure by measure. He also indicated he would not budge in opposing a tax on wealth Mr Monti is considering.

Mr Berlusconi, asked if he and his forces had asked Mr Monti to renounce plans for an election campaign, replied: “It’s true. We asked him and his ministers to commit themselves not to run.”