Opinions polls show that Mr Monti's approval ratings are now at an all-time low of 33 per cent with many saying that he had "allowed himself to be overly swayed by parties, socio-economic forces and the European Union," with a third adding he has "has not turned out to be as technically capable as he seemed."

Italy is not due to have elections until May 2013 but increasing rhetoric from Mr Berlusconi's party has suggested they could come as soon as October.

Interesting given that Berlusconi has been talking Euro exit.

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