Saturday

25th Feb 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."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EURORDISJoin the Rare Disease Day and Help to Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  4. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  5. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  6. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  7. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  9. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations