OSLO - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's decision to step down early is a pity but he will stabilize Italy before the election, French President Francois Hollande said in Oslo on Monday.

"It's a pity for the short term, but in one month or two months, it will appear that Mr Monti is able to join a coalition or to go forward to stabilize Italy," Hollande said.

"So we support the efforts of Mr Monti until the election, and after that the Italian people will choose the best government," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of European leaders in Norway.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger