ROME (AP) — Premier Mario Monti has told Italy's president that he's resigning soon.
Monti says he can no longer govern after Silvio Berlusconi's party withdrew crucial support. It paves the way for early elections a year after the unelected economist helped pull the country back from the brink of financial disaster.
Only hours earlier, Berlusconi announced he would run for a fourth term as premier in early 2013, aiming for a dramatic comeback, considering the billionaire media baron quit in disgrace in November 2011.
The office of President Giorgio Napolitano says the premier told the head of state on Saturday that without the support of Berlusconi's party, "he cannot further carry out his mandate, and consequently made clear his intention to resign" once Parliament passes a crucial budget bill soon.
Political turmoil in Italy, mired in recession and trying to escape the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, could spook financial markets, which, with Monti at the helm, had steadily regained faith in the country's ability to honor its debts.