Italy 'bewildered' by changing papacy, politics says Monti
'There's a new epoch on both sides of the Tiber'15 February, 20:38
(ANSA) - Rome, February 15 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Friday said that "a certain bewilderment" had struck the country amid a changing government and papacy.
"There are the elections, and more so I believe we all feel an internal bewilderment that stems from the pope's decision (to step down).
Italians are due to go to the polls February 24-25 to elect a new government.
Monti, who is leading a centrist coalition, is currently behind the centre right led by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and the frontrunner center-left coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani.
The new parliament will then choose a new Italian president after Giogio Napolitano steps down in May at the end of his seven-year term.
On Monday Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down on February 28, only three days after the Italian vote.
Monti, whose office is located on the opposite side of the Tiber River from the Vatican, said Friday it seemed "as though an epoch were changing on both banks, and as if we felt we had no point of reference".