Technocrats take charge

Tim Wallace
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GREECE appointed former central banker Lucas Papademos as Prime Minister yesterday, taking over from George Papandreou.

Meanwhile former European commissioner Mario Monti (above, left) was appointed senator for life by President Napolitano, leading analysts to predict he will replace the resigning Silvio Berlusconi.

Both are expected to lead technocratic governments that are intended to override political concerns and enact vital change when other leaders have failed to make progress.

However, former colleagues cast doubt on Papademos’ potential.

“He takes a very long time to make a decision,” said a Greek central bank veteran. “I wonder if his style will work at a moment when Greece needs a strong leader, fast on his feet.”

Analysts have more hope for Monti.

“Anything is better than keeping Berlusconi,” said Open Europe’s Mats Persson. “I hope he can muster political consensus in the short term and pull together a unity government with the legitimacy and clout to get through longer-term measures.”

Berlusconi has promised to resign after finance measures are passed, which could be as soon as tomorrow.