EU’s Monti named as Italian PM

Tim Wallace
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MARIO Monti, former European Commissioner, was appointed Prime Minister last night by Italian President Georgio Napolitano.

He replaces Silvio Berlusconi, who lost his majority in parliament last week during a vote on a routine finance bill and resigned on Saturday.

Markets and Eurozone leaders hope Monti will usher in a period of calm after the panic of the last few weeks.

Monti, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs, was appointed senator for life by the President last week. His role is to push through fiscal and structural reforms to stem the crisis hitting the country and boost its long-term competitiveness.

“The president of the republic has received Senator Mario Monti and conferred a mandate to form a government,” the presidential palace announced in a statement.

He is expected to form a government of technocrats – other “expert” Eurozone insiders who are deemed to be above the politics that led to paralysis and a lack of the reforms necessary to save Italy from the deepening crisis.

The unelected Monti will have to gain backing from a majority of parliamentarians. So far the centre-left Democratic Party has backed him, and Berlusconi’s PDL has offered conditional support. “We must be united facing a crisis that was not born in Italy, not born out of our debt or our banks,” Berlusconi said yesterday.