Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Tuesday indicated he should not be considered a candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as chairman of euro zone finance ministers.
At a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Monti, who is also Italy's economy minister, chose to respond to a question directed at Merkel about whether she felt he would be well-suited to become chairman of the so-called euro group.
Do you think the Italian prime minister can take on other tasks? Monti asked rhetorically, while adding that the fact that his name had been put forward in some quarters should be seen as a positive sign for Italy.
In other remarks, Monti said Italy's economic problems were far from over even though it seemed it had averted the immediate danger of a Greek-style financial crisis.
We have still not even overcome the emergency, Monti said.
(reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones)