Monti ready for second unelected term 'if called to'

 

Mario Monti, who resigned the Italian premiership on Friday, will not run in the February general elections, but is prepared to become an unelected prime minister for a second time in order to push his reform agenda.

The announcement from the academic and former European Commissioner came after months of speculation over his next move following a stop-gap premiership.

“I am ready to give my approval, my encouragement and, if called to, my leadership to those parties who get behind the reforms,” the 69-year-old Mr Monti said at a press conference in Rome today. He added that as a Senator for life, it was not appropriate for him to run for office.

In recent weeks Mr Monti has made it clear he believes the threatened return to power of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, would see Italy’s finances lurch back into the danger zone. Mr Monti was put in office in November 2011 when a series of scandals and speculators’ attacks forced Mr Berlusconi to quit.

There has already been concern at seeing an unelected official installed as Prime Minister. A second period of office for Mr Monti would likely be even more controversial. And despite earning widespread praise in Italy and beyond for his handling of the financial crisis, his ratings have recently been falling in the face of austerity measures.

Nonetheless, Mr Monti outlined an economic programme to “change Italy and reform Europe”. He said it was vital not to back track on austerity measures as this would “destroy the sacrifices that everyone has made this year” — in a clear rebuke to the populist messages coming from Mr Berlusconi.

Among the long list of reforms that were still needed, Mr Monti called for a radical overhaul of the justice system. And in a warning to the left, and particularly to Italy’s militant public sector unions, he said that changes were urgently needed to the “archaic” employment laws.

Mr Monti will be all too aware that after 13 months of relative calm under his emergency technocrat regime, which was installed with cross-party support, the national political scene is looking more volatile than ever.

He is being courted by a group of small centrist parties. Butt their share of the vote will not be enough for a parliamentary majority in the February poll

The centre-left Democratic Party, after a relatively successful six months, should, according to the opinion polls, win a majority in the lower house. Some pundits say Mr Momti could be given a key job — perhaps finance minister — in a centre-left coalition. But the redoubtable Silvio Berlusconi, although trailing in the polls, might well remain in control of the Senate, which would allow him to obstruct a centre-left regime.

Mr Berlusconi has already indicated that should he stand high office, he will play the anti-EU, anti-Germany card.

The populist, anti-establishment, Five Star Movement led by former comedian Beppe Grillo is also expected to do well – and is likely to split the anti-Berlusconi vote.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
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

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering