Mario Monti asked to lead new Italian government


Newly-named Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (L) leaves the presidential palace on Nov. 13, 2011, after Italian President Giorgio Napolitano nominated him to form a new government.



Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has asked Mario Monti, an economics professor and former European Union commissioner, to form a new Italian government, BBC News reported.

If approved by both houses of parliament, Monti, 68, will replace Silvio Berlusconi, 75, who resigned as Prime Minister on Saturday after the Italian parliament voted to pass debt reforms, The Associated Press reported.

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Monti must draw up a cabinet for Napolitano to approve before he is sworn in, Bloomberg News reported. Confidence votes in both houses of parliament are expected to occur next week.

Napolitano chose Monti after a day of discussions with top politicians, including leaders of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party, who told him they would support a Monti government, Bloomberg News reported. People of Liberty representatives have insisted that a Monti-led government only last long enough to implement economic reforms, the AP reported.

According to BBC News:

Mr. Monti, a well respected economist, is exactly the sort of man that the markets would like to see take charge at this time of crisis, says the BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome, and he has support in many quarters. But there is significant opposition to him within the country, and a feeling that Italy's troubles are just too deep for a mere change of government to make any rapid, significant difference.

Monti told reporters Sunday night that he will work "with a great sense of responsibility and service toward this nation," according to the AP. He added that Italy’s leaders owe it to future generations to solve the country’s debt crisis.