Friday

30th Sep 2016

Monti to resign after Berlusconi seeks comeback

  • Troubles ahead: Italy's borrowing costs are already rising (Photo: Giampaolo Macorig)

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Saturday (8 December) said he will step down after media magnate Silvio Berlusconi left him without a majority in parliament and announced he will stand again for elections.

After talks with Monti, the country's president, Giorgio Napolitano, issued a statement saying Monti "does not consider it possible to carry on his mandate and consequently made clear his intention to present his resignation."

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 technocrat took over the reigns of power after the scandal-prone Berlusconi stepped down last year amid market pressure and a sense of desperation from his EU peers.

Berlusconi's People of Freedom party had so far supported Monti's government, but on Thursday, his senators boycotted a vote on economic reforms.

Berlusconi on Saturday made clear he will run again in the upcoming elections, as he felt a "responsibility" towards his country to do so.

Markets promptly sent up Italy's borrowing costs.

The head of eurozone's bailout fund, Klaus Regling, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung "markets have reacted with concern to the developments of last week" and insisted for Monti's successor not to undo what the technocrat has managed to push through in terms of reforms.

EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso also warned that the relative calm on financial markets does not mean Italy has overcome the crisis. "The upcoming elections should not serve as a pretext to question the necessity of reforms," Barroso said.

But the New York Times raises the possibility for Monti to run as a candidate in the early elections, most likely to be held in February.

The well-respected economist and former EU commissioner has improved Italy's standing in the European Union and the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande regularly consulted with him on the euro crisis, after Italy had been left out in the cold in its Berlusconi years.

Monti's legitimacy was shaky however, as he had not been elected, but appointed Prime Minister from his post as life-long senator.

In past months, Monti has said he could return as Prime Minister, depending on the outcome of the elections.

As for the 76-year old Berlusconi, he was convicted of tax fraud in October and is on trial for sex with an underage prostitute. He denies any wrongdoing and wants to appeal the verdict.

Balkan leaders pledge to keep out migrants

Balkan leaders said in New York there would be no repetition of last year's mass influx of refugees, as the EU prepares to launch a new border force to keep people out.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceWhy the Investment Plan for Europe Does not Drive the Sustainable Energy Transition
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region Seeks to Make Its Voice Heard in the World
  3. Taipei EU OfficeCountries Voice Support for Taiwan's Participation in ICAO
  4. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  5. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  6. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  7. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  8. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  9. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  10. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  11. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  12. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?