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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'