Italy awaits market reaction to Monti exit soon

ROME (AP) — Italy's president is watching how financial markets will react to Premier Mario Monti's decision to resign after losing crucial support in Parliament for austerity measures that had restored faith in the country's capacity to survive the eurozone debt crisis.

Monti told President Giorgio Napolitano Saturday he would step down after Parliament passes a budget bill, likely in about two weeks.

Napolitano told reporters Sunday, "we'll see what the markets will do," after being asked if he was worried. Napolitano appointed economist Monti last year to replace Silvio Berlusconi, whose resistance to austerity measures panicked financial markets.

Speculation abounds about whether Monti will run for the premiership in elections that could come as early as February. He declined to answer that question when asked by Corriere della Sera newspaper.

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