Sunday

26th Jan 2020

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

Croatia's EU presidency optimism beset by problems

Croatia wants to focus on economic development, connectivity, internal and external security and a globally more assertive Europe over its six-month presidency - but Brexit and the next budget negotiations may put pay to that.

Spain poised for first coalition government since Franco

Spanish caretaker prime minister and Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, is expected to win the second investiture vote on Tuesday - after he lost the first attempt on Sunday in an extremely tight result.

Catalan support for Sanchez breaks Spanish deadlock

Catalonia's largest separatist party to abstain during the upcoming confidence vote in the Socialist-led government in exchange for promises of political dialogue. Meanwhile a Belgian judge has suspended an arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan premier refuses to step down, despite ruling
  2. UK set to support new fossil fuel projects in Africa
  3. Leftists MEPs travel to visit jailed Catalan MEP
  4. Bulgaria may expel Russian diplomats over 'espionage'
  5. EU, China, others agree on WTO body to settle disputes
  6. EU Commission makes move against Poland on judges law
  7. Soros pledges $1bn for liberal universities
  8. Merkel: Germany unprepared for 2015 refugee crisis

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. AI must have human oversight, MEPs recommend
  2. Second-hand cars flaw in EU Green Deal
  3. Why do EU arms end up in Libya despite UN ban?
  4. Brexit deal to be signed, as sides poised for tough talks
  5. Timmermans urges EU governments to tax carbon
  6. Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote
  7. China spy suspect had EU permission to work as lobbyist
  8. EU to unveil 5G 'toolbox' to tackle security threats

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us