Berlusconi sows confusion with support for Monti as PM

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has sowed confusion by saying he could abandon his re-election bid if Prime Minister Mario Monti decides to run as leader of a centre-right coalition. 

This comes a day after he criticised his successor for failing to revive the Italian economy and said he was too German-centric.

Mr Berlusconi said he could also be a coordinator of a broad centre-right coalition without being its candidate or choose to go for some well-deserved rest. 

There is growing speculation in Italian media that Mr Monti, a former high-flying European commissioner, could run in the elections. 

But the 69-year-old economist has so far declined to comment.

To the general confusion of journalists at the book presentation where he was speaking, Mr Berlusconi added he is currently still standing as the centre-right candidate in the election. 

The election is expected to be in February next year.