Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

Monti resigns as promised, quips about doomsday

  • Mario Monti is resigning but may return as Prime Minister (Photo: European Council)

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti resigned as promised on Friday (21 December) after the Italian parliament adopted the 2013 budget.

"A year ago this government was beginning. Today, on the other hand, we have to end this role and the Mayan prophecy is not to blame," he joked earlier in the day, referring to a widely popularised prediction that the world would end on 21 December 2012.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Once the parliament passed the budget, he filed his resignation to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, paving the way for early elections in February.

He had announced he would do so earlier this month after his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, withdrew his party's support for the government and said he would stand for elections again, prompting market fears that Italy might need a bailout.

Centre-right EU leaders - including German Chancellor Angela Merkel - in the European People's Party, last week gave a strong show of support for Monti.

They said at a congress in Brussels that he "restor[ed] confidence in Italy" and they made it clear to Berlusconi he is not welcome in their fold.

Berlusconi resigned last year amid market pressure and exasperation from EU colleagues over broken promises on reforms. The media mogul's departure was also associated with accusations of fraud and with sexual scandals.

Monti - a highly respected technocrat - took over pushed through labour market changes and budget cuts which reduced down Italy's borrowing costs.

Berlusconi at the EPP congress said he might not run after all, but only if Monti ran on behalf of his ailing party.

Monti - who was never linked to any party - replied only that he might come back as PM if there is no other solution.

Berlusconi then made another u-turn, agreeing with centre-left critics who say it would be "morally questionable" if Monti ran in the vote.

According to the latest polls, the centre-left Democratic Party is poised to win by 35 percent, while a centrist coalition led by Monti would only take around 15 percent. Berlusconi's People of Freedom party is tipped to score 17 percent.

EU leaders back Monti against Berlusconi

Germany's Merkel and other centre-right leaders have indicated they would like to see Mario Monti to keep on running Italy instead of Silvio Berlusconi.

Italy to run balanced budget, minister says

The Italian economy will run a balanced budget in 2013 before returning to growth the following year, the country's outgoing finance minister has said.

Poland to face EU top court on rule of law

The EU commission is expected to refer Poland to the EU's top court over firing supreme court judges, but Warsaw refused to commit on Tuesday that it will implement future EU court rulings.

EP triggers sanctions procedure, Hungary calls 'fraud'

The parliament launched a sanctions procedure against Hungary in an unprecedented vote that required a two-thirds majority from MEPs. Hungary is calling the vote a "fraud" and a "petty revenge" for its hardline migration policy.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us