Roberto Maroni, Northern League leader, was quoted as saying Saturday that he told Berlusconi that any support for Monti would be ''impossible." Monti was appointed a year ago to replace Berlusconi, amid financial market turmoil. Berlusconi says he's running to regain the premiership but that he could step aside if Monti runs himself.
The Northern League refused to back Monti's government. Maroni said the League could support any run by Berlusconi's political heir, Angelino Alfano. Voter surveys find sagging support for Berlusconi's conservatives. Elections are expected in February. Monti hasn't said if he will run.