Italian Premier Mario Monti has said he is "quite sure" that there is no longer any danger of Italy being a source of turmoil amid the ongoing eurozone debt crisis.
"It's important for Italy, for the eurozone, for Europe and the global economy that the eurozone's third-biggest economy does not add to a series of local flash points," Monti told the PBS network, having addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York late on Wednesday.
Monti's emergency government of non-political technocrats has passed austerity measures and economic reforms since taking power last year to stop Italy slipping down the path of Greece towards a possible default on its massive national debt. The former European commissioner, who took over the helm of government after Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier last November with Italy's debt crisis in danger of spiralling out of control, reiterated that he will not stand for the premiership in next year's general elections. "I don't even think I can stand, as I'm a Life Senator," he said.
"I and the entire government will have to resign when the elections take place, probably next April. After that, it will be up to the political parties (to govern the country)". There have been calls from some quarters for Monti to stay on to complete his reforms.
Some experts doubt Italy's political parties will stick with unpopular measures deemed necessary to put the country's economic house in order once in office.
Polls suggest Monti would muster more votes if he stood in the elections than any of the main party leaders.
Monti hinted future Italian governments should be bolder when it comes to taking unpopular decisions than previous administrations have been. "The Italian people are not happy with the individual measures (taken by his administration) but they seem to have confidence in the government," Monti said.
"This confirms what I've always thought, that the Italian people are sometimes considered an ungovernable people, but they actually demand government and governance.
"It's the political system that sometimes has not provided the necessary governments". During his speech at the opening of the 67th session of the General Assembly, Monti said that a stronger, more united Europe was needed toovercome the crisis for the good of the continent and the rest of the world.
"It's clear that having more Europe is in the global interest," he said in English. He expressed optimism Europe would come through the current turmoil as it had in the past, quoting Jean Monnet's observation that Europe will be built by going through crises. "The world has learned how essential a strong, credible Europe is to face the global challenges of the economy and security," he said, "and how important the eurozone is for the recovery of the global economy".
He added that it was "essential that European governments take action at the national level" and that "Italy will continue to do its part to contribute to greater budget sustainability to increase growth potential".