Sunday

24th Sep 2017

Monti tries to calm markets on Italian elections

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a private meeting with Monti while in Oslo. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Italy's outgoing PM Mario Monti on Monday (10 December) sought to give reassurances that any government emerging from the upcoming elections would be "very responsible," as Italian stocks plunged and borrowing continued to rise after his resignation announcement.

Speaking in Oslo, where he attended the Nobel prize ceremony for the European Union, Monti said he was "very confident that the Italian elections when they come will give room to whatever coalition or government that will be in my view a highly responsible EU-oriented government which will be in line with the huge efforts already pursued by Italy in terms of structural reform."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The Milan stock exchange suffered Europe's biggest losses after the resignation announcement on Saturday, closing down 2.2 percent on Monday. Italy's 10-year bonds alos lost 40 basis points compared to German ones, considered as safe haven by investors.

Monti has managed to restore Italy's reputation and pushed for labour market reforms, but with Italy's public debt at a crushing 120 percent of GDP, high unemployment and low productivity, Italy could anytime become the next eurozone disaster area.

By linking his resignation to the adoption of next year's budget, Monti is seeking to pass one last important piece of economic policy before stepping down and having early elections, most likely in February.

So far, the 69-year-old economist and former EU commissioner has not said whether he will run in the elections.

"I am not considering this particular issue at this stage," Monti said.

"All my efforts are being devoted to the completion of the remaining time of the current government, which appears to be a rather short time, but still requires intensive application of mind and energies for my part as well as my colleagues," he added.

Meanwhile, Pierluigi Bersani, the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party tipped in polls to win the elections, said Monti should not join any party and should preserve his technocrat credentials.

"Precisely because Monti should still be able to be of service to this country, it would be better for him to stay out of the contest," Bersani said.

The political turmoil in Italy was stirred up by Monti's predecessor Silvio Berlusconi, who had stepped down last year amid pressure from EU peers and from markets pushing the country closer to a bailout.

Berlusconi's party last week withdrew its support to Monti's government and the 76-year-old media magnate and convicted fraudster announced he would stand again for elections.

EU leaders have all rallied behind Monti.

EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy, also in Oslo on Monday, said that Monti not only "did a great job" as PM, but by restoring confidence in Italy, "was extremely helpful also in keeping stability in the eurozone."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a private meeting with Monti while in Oslo. Her foreign minister Guido Westerwelle told journalists that it was essential for Italy to continue on the path started by Monti.

"Italy can't stall at two-thirds of the reform process. That wouldn't cause turbulence for just Italy, but also for Europe," Westerwelle said.

Monti to resign after Berlusconi seeks comeback

Italy's Monti has said he will step down as PM after media magnate and convicted fraudster Berlusconi broke up his parliamentary majority and announced he will stand for re-election.

Opinion

Italian politics: 1970s stuck on repeat

The inevitable loop of Italian politics repeated again this month when former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi - fresh from a tax fraud conviction - pulled his party's support for the technocrat government of Mario Monti.

EU takes time to ponder tech giant tax

The EU commission published a paper that outlined several options on how to increase tax income from internet companies' activities, but fell short of proposing legislation.

Investigation

EU bank accused of muzzling watchdog

An ongoing review of the the European Investment Bank's "complaints mechanism" could make the oversight branch less independent and less effective.

News in Brief

  1. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  2. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  3. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  4. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  5. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  6. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  7. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead
  8. EU to step up sanctions on North Korea

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel