Mario Monti receives boost in race to form new government

 

Mario Monti’s race to have an emergency government in place by the weekend appeared assured of success today when Silvio Berlusconi’s anointed political heir said that parliament’s biggest grouping, the People of Freedom party (PDL), were behind him.

Angelino Alfano, the secretary of the PDL said after an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister-designate Mr Monti: “We think, in the light of events, that Professor Monti's bid to form a government will pan out.”

A sticking point appeared to be to Mr Monti's efforts to coax his choice of centre-left Democratic Party and centre-right PDL politicians to work together in a technocrat cabinet. But tonight, Mr Monti was said to be ready to announce his ministerial line up.

But another bleak day on the money markets, with shares falling and Italian borrowing costs surging once again, suggested that investors want to see action not words – and that Mr Monti, an academic and ex-EU commissioner, was in a race against time to start wielding the scalpel on Italy’s sclerotic economy. The spread between German and Italian 10-year borrowing costs passed the 7 per cent mark – a level that would in a short time bankrupt Italy, and probably cause the break-up of the Eurozone.

"For Italy, it’s the moment of truth,” said EU president Herman Van Rompuy, in a speech in Brussels in which he lauded his former colleague’s credentials for dragging Italy out of the debt-confidence mire.

Reports suggest that Mr Monti has already prepared a programme focusing on austerity while boosting growth and job prospects, particularly for young people. EU officials have indicated that they expect the new government's reforms to go beyond those passed this month by the Italian parliament.

Mr Monti has made it clear that he wants 18 months in power – the full span remaining to this parliament – in order to have the time and credibility to carry out the reforms.

Mr Alfano, the secretary of the party created by outgoing premier Silvio Berlusconi, did not comment today on Mr Monti’s desire to carry on until the spring of 2013, which some pundits interpreted as tacit approval. But it’s not just the centre-right that Mr Monti will have to keep on board as an unelected premier he prepares to steer cutbacks, plus tax and labour reforms through parliament. Many MPs in the opposition centre-left Democratic Party - the first major parliamentary group to get behind a Monti national unity government - may have a hard time stomaching the new free-marketer premier’s medicine for Italy.

In particular Mr Monti may have a fight on his hands reforming the labour laws that currently provide for miserable short-term contracts or jobs for life – but little in between.

His instinct to start selling off Italy’s treasure trove of state assets to make inroads in the €1.9trn debt mountain, and more importantly, boost long-term efficiency, will also ruffle feathers. It’s also likely he’ll try to reintroduce property tax, which was abolished by Mr Berlusconi, as a way to tap into the country’s vast private wealth, that is in contrast to its huge public debt.

Mr Monti's Bocconi University colleague, economics professor Francesco Giavazzi, told The Independent that he would like to see all of these policies introduced. But he added that Mr Monti would also have to take an axe to the undeserved privileges enjoyed by those in positions of power - particularly Italy's politicians, both national and local. “If not, the country might explode,” he said. “Do regional representatives really deserve pensions for life after one term in office?”

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment