Italy ex-PM Berlusconi says Monti can stay until 2013

ROME - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Friday he was ready to see his successor Mario Monti stay in place until the next scheduled elections in 2013, backing away from previous calls for early polls.
Monti, whose unelected, technocrat government needs the support of parliament to remain in office, repeated on Friday that he wanted to serve out the remainder of the legislature's five year term, which ends in 2013.
Speaking to reporters in parliament, Berlusconi denied reports that he had told supporters that they could "pull the plug" on the government whenever they chose.
"I think this government will operate in a way that serves the country for the whole remaining period," he said.