Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has accused the technocrat government of Mario Monti of dragging Italy into recession by following economic policies by Germany.
In Tuesday’s remarks Berlusconi said Germany had taken advantage of the financial crisis to lower its own borrowing costs at the expense of other states.
He said the prime minister’s government had been compliant in following harmful austerity policies set by other European countries.
"The Monti government has followed the Germano-centric policies which Europe has tried to impose on other states and it has created a crisis situation which is much worse than where we were when we were in government," he told his own Italy’s Canale 5 television.
Monti's political future
Also on Tuesday, Monti said he still wanted to influence political debate in whatever role he fills after elections next year, leaving his political future open following speculation he may remain in politics.
Financial markets have reacted nervously to the uncertain political outlook facing Italy after the election and in particular to the return of Silvio Berlusconi as the candidate of the centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party.
Monti has so far kept silent on his future, saying on Monday that he was concentrating on his remaining time in government and was not thinking about whether to stand as a candidate.
Speaking on state television RAI on Tuesday, he defended his government's economic record and warned against "oversimplified" election promises that hid the true problems facing Italy and he again left his political plans open.
"Politics is above all a question of culture, that is, trying to give direction to people's ideas," he told state television RAI.