Napolitano calls Berlusconi plot speculation 'smoke'
Govt was 'clearly struggling' writes head of State10 February, 19:20
"These are summed up by the fact that the governing majority that won the 2008 elections was clearly struggling more and more".
Napolitano recalled many of the problems Berlusconi's government faced at the peak of the eurozone crisis 2011, when borrowing costs rose sharply and Italy looked on the brink of a Greek-style financial meltdown.
These included defections within the government alliance of the time and various reprimands from the European Union over Italy's budget. Napolitano said that in 2011 he, and many others, came to see Monti as a "resource to keep in mind and, if necessary, to bring to the government of the country". But he also stressed that he only gave the former European commissioner the mandate to form an emergency government after Berlusconi resigned.