Italian premier Mario Monti has defended his government's austerity measures as necessary to restore confidence in Italy's financial future, and warned voters to beware of "magic solutions" promised by candidates in upcoming elections.
Mr Monti has said he will resign as soon as the country's budget is approved, spreading anxiety in the markets that a new elected government will not follow through on reforms.
Speaking on state TV, he warned politicians in the election against suggesting there is an easy way out of Italy's problems.
"It is important that everyone use some self-discipline and avoid the tendency to oversimplify, presenting magic solutions," he said.
Mr Monti declined to discuss his future plans. Supporters have been pushing him to lead a centrist movement, while others say he may seek the largely ceremonial position of president .
Keeping the jittery markets in mind, Mr Monti stressed that "there is a government in Italy and will be until another is named".