Premier Mario Monti says a second term would demonstrate to Italians that he is not a wicked taxman.

Monti told RAI public television Thursday that he believes his technical government "did good things for Italy."

Monti, a trained economist, is heading a caretaker government in the run-up to February elections, where he is harnessing a coalition of centrist parties.

His 13-month technical government passed tax increases and spending cuts to shield Italy from the sovereign debt crisis. Monti said it also took measures to help families and the economically lagging south.

Three-time former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has harshly criticized Monti's decision to enter the race, saying Monti lacks credibility.

Monti shot back that this "is the judgment of a person who has demonstrated a certain volatility in judgment."