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March 20, 2023

Mario Monti moves to form new government

Global markets have responded cautiously to the creation of the emergency government.

ROME – Mario Monti is starting work to form a new government to lead Italy out of its acute debt crisis which prompted the resignation of PM Silvio Berlusconi, the BBc informs. The appointment of Mr Monti, an ex-EU competition commissioner, was announced by Italy’s president on Sunday.

Mr Monti said he wanted to build “a future of dignity and hope” for Italy’s children.

In what was seen as the first test of Mr Monti’s leadership, Italy sold 3bn euros of new five-year bonds on Monday. However, it had to pay more to borrow the money, a rate of 6.29%, indicating continuing unease in the markets.

Monti, a 68-year-old economics professor, has refused to set a timetable for the formation of the new government or say who he plans to nominate as ministers.

Speaking after his appointment, he said Italy “must again be, and must increasingly be, an element of strength, not weakness, in a European Union that we helped found and in which we should be protagonists”. He promised to act “with urgency” and work with parliament “to get out quickly from a situation which has elements of an emergency but which Italy can overcome with a united effort”. President Giorgio Napolitano said his nomination of Mr Monti was not about overturning the result of the elections of 2008 and that the situation could not wait for elections to be held. Italy needed a government that “could unite the diverse political forces in an extraordinary effort warranted by the current financial and economic emergency”, he said. In Brussels, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy issued a joint statement welcoming Mr Monti’s appointment as “a further encouraging signal… of the Italian authorities’ determination to overcome the current crisis”.

The Italian economy has grown at an average of 0.75% a year over the past 15 years.

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