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
  • 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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing