'Chevalier' Berlusconi won't replace Monti as PM, says French president
French President Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference at the EU Headquarters on December 14, 2012 in Brussels, on the last day of a two-day European Union leaders summit. AFP photoFrench President François Hollande took aim at former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Dec. 13 during a speech in Brussels, dismissing his chances of returning to the top post, French daily Liberation has reported.
"I see a very low chance for the "chevalier" [Berlusconi] of replacing Mario Monti [as prime minister]. I don't take his words saying he abandoned his candidature seriously. What he says one day is not necessarily true the next day," Hollande said.
Berlusconi, 76, said he was ready to give up political life, while his conservative allies in Europe have openly shown their preference for Monti, a technocrat.
"I will be a candidate only if it is necessary," Berlusconi said.