Wednesday

26th Jul 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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  3. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  4. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  5. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  6. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  8. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  10. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  11. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  12. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way

Latest News

  1. EU and Turkey fail to defuse tensions
  2. European law will apply 'for years' in the UK, says EU judge
  3. US votes to sanction EU firms in Russia project
  4. Journalists on trial highlight Turkey crackdown
  5. EU to give research tips on dual food quality
  6. Polish president's veto leaves uncertainties over next move
  7. EU Commission unmoved by Polish president's veto
  8. UK presses the Brexit pause button