Despite rumors that Italy's Silvio Berlusconi could "bring down" the government if he loses his seat in parliament next week, the country's former prime minister Mario Monti defended the politician on Friday.
"I feel that in recent months and years, although [he was] in a very difficult personal situation, Berlusconi has shown a remarkable sense of responsibility," Monti told CNBC at the Ambrosetti economic forum in Lake Como.
"I'm not convinced at all that, should the process in the Senate lead to Berlusconi having to leave the Senate, it would trigger the abandonment of the government by the PDL party (Berlusconi's People of Liberty party)."
An announcement by an ally of Berlusconi on Thursday suggested the contrary, however. Daniela Santanche said the former leader had prepared a video message that could announce a decision to bring down Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government - if the Italian senate voted on Monday to strip him of his parliamentary seat after he received a four-year jail sentence for tax fraud in August.
"It's ready, Berlusconi will decide when to broadcast it and I think it is absolutely imminent," Santanche told a news conference on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Following the report, analysts warned that investors should be wary of more nasty surprises from the country as the vote threatens already-fragile government stability.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page