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.
South Korea ferry: Sewol captain says he is 'sorry to the people of South Korea' and that he delayed evacuating ship in case passengers 'drifted away'
Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Kingdom Tower: Construction of 1km high new world’s tallest building to begin next week in Saudi Arabia
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...