Sunday

19th Feb 2017

Monti groomed to be Italy's new PM

  • Mario Monti is likely to be Italy's new PM (Photo: European Commission)

In a move that is widely considered to lay the groundwork for a transitional government, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has appointed Mario Monti senator for life.

“Professor Mario Monti has bestowed the fatherland with the highest of merits,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (9 November).

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 position is largely ceremonial, but does provide Monti with the necessary standing to head a country in peril.

Domestic press are speculating that the nomination is a prelude to being designated leader of a new government.

The move came after Napolitano had unsuccessfully sought to soothe anxious markets after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his resignation on Tuesday evening.

Market jitters only increased the following day after a document was leaked in which the European Commission questioned the country’s capacity to meet a balanced budget by 2013.

The yield on Italian bonds shot through the roof on Wednesday, beyond the point at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland had been forced to seek financial aid.

The Standard & Poor’s Index 500 lost 3.7 percent, its worst drop in more than two months. Asian markets are almost five percent in the red.

“There is no doubt that the president of the council, the honourable Silvio Berlusconi, will step down after the approval of the stability law,” Napolitano said in a statement on Wednesday.

The law, which includes the austerity measures demanded by European leaders, he said would be approved “within days”. It is set to pass the Senate on Friday and the lower house at the weekend. A new government could be in place as soon as Monday.

Monti is an economist at Bocconi University in Milan, a Yale University graduate, and former two-time EU commissioner from 1995 to 2004 – responsible for the internal market and competition dossiers over his pair of terms in the EU executive.

Italian bonds shatter 7% bail-out ceiling

The interest rate on Italian 10-year government bonds breached seven percent on Wednesday, shattering the psychological bail-out ‘ceiling’. Greece, Portugal and Ireland all had to seek multi-billion-euro bail-outs when their 10-year bonds exceeded this threshold.

MEPs set to approve Canada trade deal

The European Parliament is expected to give the green light to the EU-Canada free trade agreement, which would start being implemented in April.

News in Brief

  1. Migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta
  2. Spain's princess fined for tax fraud, husband sentenced
  3. EU to invest millions in energy infrastructure
  4. Dutch data watchdog forces online vote aides to up security
  5. EU allows Lithuania to ban Russian tv channel
  6. Finland announces increase in defence spending
  7. Ex-PM Blair says Brits should 'rise up' against Brexit
  8. Nato chief says facts to prevail over fake news

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty