ROME — A day after accepting the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s president on Sunday asked Mario Monti, a former member of the European Commission, to form a government charged with helping defend Italy from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.President Giorgio Napolitano formally chose Mr. Monti after a day of meetings with political leaders across the spectrum, almost all of whom had pledged their support for a government of technocrats to guide Italy’s post-Berlusconi future.

“The president of the republic,” Reuters quoted a statement from the presidential palace as saying, “has received Senator Mario Monti and conferred a mandate to form a government.”

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